Facts about green tea and diabetes

Facts about green tea and diabetes

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Diabetes is a lifelong condition in which your blood glucose levels are constantly very high. The body finds it difficult to metabolize glucose due to a lack or an absence of insulin. Diabetes is the most common metabolic disorder, affecting one out of every ten Americans.

According to the American Diabetes Association, the number of Americans with diabetes reached 29.1 million in 2012, and 1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes each year.

Prolonged diabetes can have an adverse effect on your eyes, kidneys and nerves. Other complications of diabetes can include high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and gangrene.

Green tea and diabetes

Medication is usually the first line of treatment for diabetes. However, green tea may offer a natural remedy for prevention and management of this widespread public health issue.

A study in Japan showed the potential benefits of green tea in decreasing diabetes risk. It showed a 33% reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes in subjects who drank 6 or more cups of green tea per day, as compared to those who consumed less than 1 cup per week.


Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the most effective type of catechin found in green tea. EGCG is known to play a key role in exhibiting the beneficial effects of green tea.

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition successfully proved the anti-diabetic effects of green tea EGCG consumption in animals with type 2 diabetes.

And a study in the British Journal of Nutrition found EGCG to reduce the risk or delay the onset of type 1 diabetes in animals.

Other studies suggest that EGCG may mimic insulin and could potentially help in reducing blood sugar levels in the body.

Obestity and green tea

Obesity is the greatest risk factor for diabetes, so weight management is very important to help keep diabetes at bay.

A study done in Taiwan demonstrated that people who drank teas (green, black or oolong tea) regularly for more than a decade had smaller waist lines and lower body fat than those who did not consume tea regularly.


Drinking green tea may be a good idea for people with diabetes as it increases insulin sensitivity and reduces blood sugar levels in your body.


Fua, Z., Zhena, W., Yuskavagea, J., & Liu, D. (2011). Epigallocatechin gallate delays the onset of type 1 diabetes in spontaneous non-obese diabetic mice. British Journal of Nutrition, 105(8), 1218‑1225.

Iso H., Date, C., Wakai, K., Fukui, M., & Tamakoshi, A. (2006). The relationship between green tea and total caffeine intake and risk for self-reported type 2 diabetes among Japanese adults. Annals of Internal Medicine, 144(8), 554‑562.

Kim, H. M. & Kim, J. (2013). The effects of green tea on obesity and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes & Metabolism Journal, 37(3), 173‑175.

Waltner-Law, M. E., Wang, X. L., Law, B. K., Hall, R. K., Nawano, M., & Granner, D. K. (2002). Epigallocatechin gallate, a constituent of green tea, represses hepatic glucose production. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 277(38), 34933‑34940.

Wolfram, S., Raederstorff, D., Preller, M., Wang, Y., Teixeira, S R., Riegger, C., & Weber, P. (2006). Epigallocatechin gallate supplementation alleviates diabetes in rodents. The Journal of Nutrition, 136(10), 2512‑2518.

Wu, C. H., Lu, F. H., Chang, C. S., Chang, T. C., Wang, R. H., & Chang, C. J. (2003). Relationship among habitual tea consumption, percent body fat, and body fat distribution. Obesity Research, 11(9), 1088‑1095.

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