A new study of the chemicals in tea shows its polysaccharides can help control diabetics’ blood glucose. Black tea has the highest level of these helpful polysaccharides
Tea is the world’s second-most consumed drink after water, and already has a healthy reputation for antioxidants, boosting the immune system and lowering high blood pressure. A new study shows black tea may also help diabetics manage their glucose levels.
The study, published in the Institute of Food Studies, and journal and Journal of Food Science, looked at the chemicals, particularly polysaccharides, in green tea, oolong tea and black tea. Polysaccharides are a type of carbohydrate that includes starch and cellulose, which have been shown to retard the absorption of glucose.
Diabetes mellitus, particularly Type 2 or late onset diabetes, is a major and rapidly increasing health problem all over the world, because of its chronic nature and disabling complications.
Controlling postprandial hyperglycemia (exaggerated rise in blood sugar following a meal) and inhibiting oxidative stress by increasing consumption of antioxidants are ways the patient can assist in the treatment of his diabetes.
Black Tea Known to Manage Diabetes in Asia
The hypoglycaemic (lowering blood glucose levels) effect of tea has been known for centuries in China and Japan, where tea is a remedy for diabetes.
This effect of tea’s polysaccharides has been studied scientifically in the past five years, but Dr Chen’s research is the first into its other action – glycosidase inhibition (inhibiting the uptake of glucose) from food recently eaten.
The Search for Glucosidase Inhibitors in Tea
Dr Chen said glucosidase inhibitors are currently interesting to researchers “owing to their promising therapeutic potential in the treatment of disorders such as diabetes, HIV infection, metastatic cancer, and lysosomal storage diseases.
Black Tea Polysaccharides Best at Blocking Glucose
Dr Chen’s team at the Tianjin Key Laboratory in China tested three varieties of tea for their polysaccharide content: green, oolong and black. The tea samples were bought from the same local tea market, and had been produced by the same factory – the Huangshan Mountain Tea Factory, in Anhui, China
The researchers isolated the polysaccharide-rich fraction from powdered samples of green tea, oolong tea and black tea, analyzed the chemical composition of each, and evaluated the glycosidase inhibitory effects and antioxidant activities of each of the three kinds of tea polysaccharides.
By the end for this procedure, Dr Chen and the power team decided how the polysaccharides within dark tea carried out the very best from suppressing the uptake of blood sugar through lately consumed meals.
Anti-oxidant Actions associated with Tea Polysaccharides
Oxidative tension is yet another cause of persistent ailments for example diabetic issues, most cancers, rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, as well as coronary artery disease, plus aging.
It’s popular which tea, particularly black tea, includes higher amounts of anti-oxidants which feed on the actual cell-damaging oxygen-derived toxins. Doctor Chen’s power team discovered that the polysaccharides within black tea outperformed actually those who work in green tea extract in scavenging “free radicals”.