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Can green tea help with diabetes?

Green tea is possibly the closest one can get to a miracle drink with its health benefits for a large range of diseases and disorders. One of the many uses green tea has in assisting diabetics, and in particular type 1 diabetics, with the break down of blood glucose.

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Research on animals has suggested that green tea may in fact help to prevent the development of type 1 diabetes while also helping to regulate blood sugar levels in those who already have type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetics do not produce insulin which breaks down glucose in the blood, but the use of green tea may help in regulating these blood sugar levels and so be beneficial for diabetics.

Not only is green tea beneficial for type 1 diabetics but may also help to prevent against the development of type 2 diabetes as shown in a study mentioned on the Biomed Central website, "The control of postprandial hyperglycemia by green tea can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. In the present study, we provide evidence showing that green tea promotes glucose metabolism in healthy humans, and produces an antihyperglycemic effect in diabetic mice. In addition, we analyzed the serum protein profiles of db+/db+ and +m/+m mice for the first time using SELDI-TOF-MS, and further investigated its association with any effects of oral green tea administration on serum proteins. Among the several proteins that were significantly lowered in the serum of diabetic mice, the 4211 (4212) Da protein was significantly decreased after green tea administration. This is the first report demonstrating that a certain serum protein is involved in the antihyperglycemic effect of green tea." ("Effect of green tea on blood glucose levels and serum proteomic pattern in diabetic (db/db) mice and on glucose metabolism in healthy humans", Tsuneki, H et al.)

The health benefits of green tea for diabetics and in the prevention of diabetes are found primarily in a component of green tea known as EGCG according to the Life Enhancement website which also recommends other teas, "In the tea study, however, chromatographic analysis showed that the chemical compositions of the green and oolong teas were very similar, and the authors state that in both cases, EGCG was the main active ingredient in terms of the insulin effect."

In conclusion, green tea has provided many health benefits for a number of people; one of these health benefits provided by green tea is the ability to help diabetics break down glucose and lower blood glucose levels. This is due primarily to the substance known as EGCG which is found in green tea.

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Last Update: 2012.9
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