Black tea helps fight diabetes

8 March, 2008

Here comes yet another natural way to combat diabetes: drinking black tea.

It may be noted that green tea has long been believed to have a variety of health benefits.

The latest therapeutic characteristic of black tea has been unearthed by a team of scientists at the University of Dundee, Scotland, the United Kingdom.

The newspaper Scotsman, published from Scotland, quoted Dr Graham Rena, of the University of Dundee’s Neurosciences Institute, as saying, “Our team’s research into tea compounds is at a pre-clinical, experimental stage. There is definitely something interesting in the way these naturally occurring components of black tea may have a beneficial effect, both in terms of diabetes and our wider health. This is something that needs further research and people shouldn’t be rushing to drink masses of black tea, thinking it will cure them of diabetes – we are still some way from this leading to new treatments or dietary advice.”

People suffering from diabetes should continue to take their medicines as directed by their doctor, Dr Rena emphasized.

The research team, led by Dr Graham Rena, focused on identifying agents capable of substituting for insulin in Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes develops when the body ceases responding to insulin properly.

The researchers found that several constituents in black tea – called theaflavins and thearubigins – mimic insulin action.

In the study, appearing in the latest issue of the journal Aging Cell, Dr Graham Rena wrote, “What we have found is that these constituents can mimic insulin action on proteins called FOXOs. Previously, FOXOs have been found to have associations between diet and health in a wide variety of organisms including mice, worms and fruit flies. The task now is to see whether we can translate these findings into something useful for human health.”

They researchers now aim to conduct further research in order to determine more precisely how the components in tea imitate insulin action.





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