A red teapot sits on a kitchen counter while dark tea and diabetes, research on tea health benefits.

New Research Shows Daily Tea Drinking Reduces Diabetes Risk

A new study reveals that making tea a part of your daily routine may help reduce your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Researchers found that adults who drank tea every day had a 28% lower risk of diabetes compared to non-tea drinkers.

The research findings provide more evidence that tea contains compounds that can benefit blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity.

Key Takeaways
  • A new study finds that drinking tea daily may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 28% compared to non-tea drinkers.
  • Tea contains compounds that can benefit blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity.
  • Dark teas, such as black tea and oolong tea, provide the greatest benefits for reducing diabetes risk.
  • The fermentation process that dark teas go through enhances the formation of helpful compounds that improve insulin response and reduce inflammation.
A cup of dark tea on a wooden table.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Adelaide in Australia and Southeast University in China. They analyzed data from 1,923 adults in China who had participated in previous nutrition studies. The researchers examined their habitual tea drinking frequency, blood test results related to diabetes, and other lifestyle factors.

Past studies have suggested health benefits from tea, especially green tea. But this new study focused specifically on links between tea drinking and diabetes. The researchers found that frequency of tea consumption was associated with noticeable differences in diabetes biomarkers.

Compared to those who didn’t drink tea regularly, daily tea drinkers had increased urinary glucose excretion. This suggests improved insulin sensitivity and a healthy metabolism. Tea drinkers also had lower blood sugar levels after fasting and lower hemoglobin A1c values, indicating better average blood sugar control.

In addition, daily tea consumption was associated with significantly reduced insulin resistance based on an oral glucose tolerance test. Insulin resistance is a precursor to developing diabetes when the body becomes less responsive to insulin over time.

Dark Tea Is Better For Protecting Against Type 2 Diabetes

The researchers dug deeper into the types of tea consumed, distinguishing between green tea, oolong tea and black tea. They found that dark teas, which go through microbial fermentation during processing, provided the greatest benefits for diabetes risk reduction.

Dark tea drinkers had a 47% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to non-habitual tea drinkers. For those with prediabetes, the risk reduction was even greater at 53%. Prediabetes is a condition where blood sugar levels are elevated but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis.

The antimicrobial process black and other dark teas go through appears to boost the formation of polyphenols and other compounds that improve insulin response and reduce inflammation. Oolong tea drinkers also had notable risk reductions compared to green tea and no tea.

Although the study was observational, the large sample size and detailed tea drinking data add strength to the association between tea habits and reduced diabetes development. The findings also align with previous research on the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and glucose-lowering effects of tea.

The researchers hope to conduct randomized controlled trials in the future to establish a definitive causal relationship. But in the meantime, they believe the results support tea as an integral part of dietary recommendations for diabetes prevention.

Tips for Using Tea to Reduce Diabetes Risk

Based on the study findings, here’s some tips for using tea to help reduce your risk of diabetes:

  • Drink black, oolong or other dark teas daily for maximum benefits. The fermentation process enhances formation of helpful compounds.
  • Choose loose leaf or high quality bagged tea over lower quality dust tea in bags. Whole tea leaves provide more polyphenols.
  • Brew tea properly at optimal temperatures and steeping times to extract the most compounds. Follow instructions for the specific type of tea.
  • Skip the sweeteners and milk/cream add-ins to experience the full benefits. Or use just a touch of honey or lemon if needed.
  • Complement your tea with a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats. An overall balanced lifestyle also helps manage diabetes risk.
  • Keep exercising regularly even if you drink tea daily. Physical activity improves insulin sensitivity and helps sustain a healthy metabolism.

While more research is underway, the results so far indicate that making tea part of your self-care routine may provide measurable advantages for your health, especially as you age. Replacing sugary drinks or coffee with antioxidant-rich tea just might help safeguard your blood sugar, insulin levels and diabetes risk.

So brew yourself a nice hot cup of tea, put your feet up, and take your time sipping this time-honored beverage. Letting tea infuse into your lifestyle provides benefits beyond just enjoyable taste.

Photo of author
A self-proclaimed tea explorer, Jess began her journey with tea as a hobby and it quickly blossomed into an enchanting love affair. From the rich, historical tapestries of traditional Chinese blends, to the modern twists of herbal infusions, there’s no leaf unturned.

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