Considering the fact that 20.8 million people in the US have diabetes, there is a good chance that we all know of someone who has been touched by this disease. Type II diabetes is by far the most common and its numbers are continuing to rise at an alarming rate.  

While the body is still able to produce insulin in those with Type II diabetes, it is unable to utilize it properly, resulting in excess blood glucose levels. Over time, this condition can lead to a host of problems including blindness, cataracts, nerve damage and kidney disease.  

A healthy and balanced diet, along with regular exercise, can go a long way to help those with diabetes to live a full and vibrant life. Recently researchers from King’s College and the University of Central Lancashire in the UK discovered another powerful ally in the treatment of this disease. Black tea appears to reduce blood sugar levels and stimulate the body’s insulin response.

During this study, 16 volunteers were given a glucose and water solution, water with a small amount of caffeine added or water with black tea powder. Two hours later, the blood glucose levels of those who had the black tea were significantly reduced. In addition, insulin levels were also increased in the tea drinkers. 

It’s believed that the polyphenols found in tea, such as epigallocatechin and epicatechin, may stimulate B-cell activity. B-cells are found in the pancreas and are responsible for insulin production. In addition to this newly discovered benefit, polyphenols have previously been found to help lower blood pressure, protect our bodies from cancer and balance cholesterol levels. 

With the positive effects of tea drinking continuing to mount, it may behoove all of us to begin participating in the age-old ritual of afternoon tea!

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