Healthy living

Black tea 'may fight diabetes'

black tea may fight diabetes May also help against cancer and rheumatoid arthritis

As we reported yesterday, white tea contains chemicals that could help slow the appearance of wrinkles.

Now it seems that black tea could play a part in the fight against diabetes.

Note that by white tea and black tea we are talking about the way in which the teas have been processed, rather than meaning tea with or without milk. Black tea is the tea most common in the everyday British cuppa - it has been processed to increase its strength and shelf life.

Researchers from the Tianjin Key Laboratory in China studied the polysaccharide levels of green, oolong and black teas and whether they could be used to treat diabetes. Polysaccharides, a type of carbohydrate that includes starch and cellulose, may benefit people with diabetes because they help retard absorption of glucose.

They found that of the three types of tea studied black tea had the most glucose-inhibiting properties. The Polysaccharides in black tea also had the most effect on free radicals - molecules which are involved in the onset of diseases such as cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.

"Many efforts have been made to search for effective glucose inhibitors from natural materials," says lead researcher Haixia Chen. "There is a potential for exploitation of black tea polysaccharide in managing diabetes."

The study appeared in the Journal of Food Science.

This article was published on Fri 14 August 2009

Image © Juli├ín Rovagnati -

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