Diabetes is a chronic disease that profoundly impacts people’s quality of life, which is why it is essential to lead healthy lifestyle habits and have a balanced diet that reduces the risks of developing this condition.
There are, however, some natural foods that, according to scientific evidence, can help reduce the chances of developing diabetes. One such product is green tea, which comes from the tea plant, known by the scientific name of camellia sinensis.
In fact, research published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences analyzed what effect green tea had on improving hyperglycemia, a medical condition that occurs when people have high blood sugar levels.
The results of the study were published in 2019 and were collected by the Department of Agrobioscience at Kobe University Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences in Japan.
The laboratory rats were divided into two groups: those with type 1 diabetes and those with type 2 diabetes.
“Green tea consumption lowered blood glucose and improved glucose intolerance, which was assessed using an oral glucose tolerance test in rats,” indicated the authors of the investigation.
One of the components of green tea that showed the greatest effects on the health of the animals analyzed was epigallocatechin gallate, a chemical compound that has been the subject of multiple medical investigations due to its health benefits.
“Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the main catechin in green teaalso improved glucose intolerance in obese and diabetic mice induced on a high-fat diet.” the researchers pointed out.
But these glucose uptake benefits may also be related to green tea’s ability to help the body process insulin, the key hormone in controlling blood sugar levels.
Another investigation carried out by scientists from the Chinese Army Medical University focused on analyzing what were the effects that green tea had on that response to insulin.
The study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2013, did a review of “randomized controlled trials evaluating the effects of green tea and green tea extract on glucose control and insulin sensitivity.”
The meta-analysis included data from 17 clinical trials involving about 1,133 individuals. As a result, the researchers found that green tea was effective in “significantly” lowering the amount of fasting glucose and hemoglobin.
Recommendations to reduce the risk of diabetes
While the evidence shows that green tea may be helpful in preventing and improving the symptoms of diabetes, the truth is that there are multiple measures that people can take to avoid getting sick.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has indicated that it is key to take precautions to avoid type 2 diabetes, which is the most common form of the disease and the most effectively preventable.
Among other things, the multilateral entity warns that the people with the greatest risk are those who suffer from obesity and overweight, for which reason maintaining a healthy body mass can be key to mitigating the appearance of diabetes.
“Get at least 30 minutes of regular, moderate-intensity activity on most days. More activity is required to control weight”, indicates the PAHO, which also advises avoiding foods that contain saturated fats and high levels of sugar.
In addition, recommends “avoiding tobacco use: smoking increases the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”