Popular drink 'reduces blood sugar and may help prevent diabetes'

Popular drink ‘reduces blood sugar and may help prevent diabetes’

A POPULAR hot drink could help prevent a range of serious illnesses, according to science.

Drinking more green tea brought significant health improvements – a finding that surprised US researchers.


Turn on the kettle – green tea can reduce the risk of deadly diseasesCredit: Getty

They think the brew could offset risk factors for metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome, according to the NHS, is the medical term for a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension) and obesity.

Therefore, people are more likely to have metabolic syndrome if they are overweight and have low or high levels of cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar.

However, the new study from Ohio State University suggests that green tea may improve all of these factors.

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And in turn, this could reduce the risk of life-threatening complications from metabolic syndrome – coronary heart disease and stroke.

A group of 40 people was recruited for the study. For part of the study, they took green tea supplements for 28 days.

The gummy candies contained the dose of compound catechins and were equivalent to five cups of green tea.

For another 28 days, they took dummy pills, according to results published in Current Developments in Nutrition.

In both parts of the experiments, they followed a diet low in fruits and vegetables to ensure that any positive results could be attributed to green tea, not a healthy diet.

The results showed that the fasting blood sugar of all participants was significantly lower during the green tea phase.

The poo samples showed fewer markers of gut inflammation and “leaky gut” was reduced.

Leaky gut, or leaky gut, occurs when the intestinal lining has cracks or holes, allowing bacteria to enter the bloodstream and cause inflammation.

This is considered a “trigger factor for obesity and insulin resistance, which are at the heart of all cardiometabolic disorders”, according to Richard Bruno, the study’s lead author and professor of human nutrition.

He said: “If we can improve gut integrity and reduce leaky gut, the idea is that we can not only ameliorate the low-grade inflammation that triggers cardiometabolic disorders, but potentially reverse them.”

All of the participants – half healthy and half with metabolic syndrome – saw benefits, an unexpected finding for the research team.

Professor Bruno said: “What this tells us is that within a month we are able to lower blood sugar in people with metabolic syndrome and in healthy people.

“Lower blood sugar appears to be linked to decreased leaky gut and decreased gut inflammation, regardless of health status.”

But Professor Bruno added: “We didn’t try to cure metabolic syndrome with a month-long study.

“But based on what we know about the causative factors of metabolic syndrome, it’s possible that green tea works at least in part at the gut level to lessen the risk of developing it or reversing it if you already have metabolic syndrome.”

More often than not, doctors will tell people at risk for metabolic syndrome to improve their lifestyle habits – eat healthier and exercise more.

“Unfortunately, we know that most people cannot comply with lifestyle changes for a variety of reasons,” Professor Bruno said.

Green tea is not as popular in the West as it is in the East, where it has its origins in China.

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It’s touted as a healthy drink because studies have shown it helps with weight loss, the risk of heart disease, and even cancer.

But the results are not very robust and are often observational, have small sample sizes or other limitations.

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