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Black Tea Associated With Lower Levels of Diabetes

Researchers have found that high black tea consumption is associated with lower levels of diabetes. Countries with high black tea consumption have one quarter less instances of diabetes, compared to countries with low black tea consumption.

The researchers examined sales data from the World Tea Consumption Survey conducted by Euromonitor in 2009 to rank 50 countries based on black tea consumption. They then used the World Heath Survey to compile data regarding incidences of cancer, diabetes, respiratory disease, infectious disease, and cardiovascular disease in these countries.

Statistical models were used to determine if a correlation existed between black tea consumption and any of the five diseases. Diabetes was the sole ailment found to be linked to black tea consumption.

The researchers believe that components of black tea have a positive effect on glucose metabolism. They advise further studies be conducted to identify the components that provide this effect.

The study was performed by researchers at Data Mining International and Unilever. It was published on November 8, 2012, in BMJ Open.

Tea has a high level of strong antioxidants called polyphenols. These compounds protect our cells from dangerous free radicals. In fact, an earlier study found that the cells of regular tea drinkers actually have a younger biological age than non-tea drinkers.

Polyphenols have been shown to promote weight loss, improve heart health, aid in digestion and decrease the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Previous studies have shown that tea brewed at home contains higher levels of polyphenols than tea purchased in a bottle. Additionally, packaged teas tend to contain preservatives, sugar and other ingredients that may neutralize the health benefits of tea.

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