Drinking green tea may not only help in reducing your waistline, but may also prove beneficial in lowering diabetes, finds a study.
Type 2 diabetes is a significant global public health challenge and is projected to affect 693 million people by 2045. It is associated with adverse health outcomes including heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and amputation as well as is one of the leading risk factors for premature mortality.
The study, based on a meta-analysis of 27 trials published in Nutrition and Metabolism journal, showed that green tea intake had a favourable effect on fasting blood glucose concentration.
However, green tea intake did not significantly affect fasting blood insulin or HbA1c - a test that measures the amount of blood sugar (glucose) attached to haemoglobin.
A team from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China examined the results of 27 studies that involved 2,194 participants. The pooled results showed that green tea significantly lowered fasting blood glucose.
Even as short-term trials showed green tea supplementation "significantly reduced fasting glucose", long-term trials assessing the effects of green tea supplementation on glycemic control are needed, the team said.
Green tea is produced from the fresh leaves of Camellia sinensis and has played an important dietary and medicinal role throughout history, particularly in Asian countries.
It contains a variety of effective compounds including antioxidants, vitamins, carbohydrates, protein, minerals, and flavonoid-like polyphenols, which may be beneficial in the prevention of diabetes.