Green tea compound may improve blood glucose tolerance

A compound found in green tea improves glucose tolerance and increases insulin secretion in laboratory mice with diabetes, according to the journal Nutrition & Metabolism.

Researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden separated the diabetic mice into two groups. They fed the first group a green tea extract that has a high content of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a type of polyphenol. The remaining mice served as the control group.

Throughout the ten-week study, researchers measured fasting blood glucose, body weight and food intake. After ten weeks, they measured glucose and insulin levels during an oral glucose tolerance test.

It also found that EGCG supplemetation reduces the number of pathologically changed islets of Langerhans, specialized cells in the pancreas that make and secrete hormones. Insulin-producing beta cells are just one of five types of cells in an islet.

Changes in the islets of Langerhans are typically associated with the onset of diabetes.

The study showed that EGCG increases the number and size of islets and heightens pancreative endocrine area.

“This study shows that the green tea extract EGCG markedly preserves islet structure and enhances glucose tolerance in genetically diabetic mice,” wrote the researchers in the study.

“Dietary supplementation with EGCG could potentially contribute to nutritional strategies for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes,” they wrote.

EGCG is one of four main polyphenols found in fresh tea leaves. The other three are epogallocatechin, epicatechin gallate, and epicatechin.

Green tea contains 30 to 40 percent water-extractable polyphenols. Black tea, which is green tea oxidized by fermentation, contains 3 to 10 percent. Oolong tea is semi-fermented tea and falls halfway between green and black teas in terms of polyphenol levels.

Green tea has long been a suggested therapy for diabetes, but the mechanisms behind it are not well understood.

Green tea is purported to reduce the risk of Alzheimers disease and certain cancers, according to nutraingredients.com. It’s also said to improve cardivascular and oral health and help with weight management.

Sources: Nutrition & Metabolism, MedicineNet.com, nutraingredients.com

photo by John Nyboer

Get a Free Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to BattleDiabetes.com who, in addition to 3rd party partners, may contact you with updates, products and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy and terms and conditions.

More Articles

More Articles

Scientists have discovered that a single gene forms a common link between type 2 diabetes and...

Natural supplements like cinnamon extract and apple cider vinegar could hold the key to lowering blood sugar levels, according to a recent...

Natural supplements like cinnamon extract and apple cider vinegar could hold the key to lowering blood sugar levels, according to a recent...

Could a person's risk for type 2 diabetes be written in their genes?

According to a study recently published in ...

Women who frequently shift around their sleeping hours could have worse metabolic health outcomes than their peers who stick with a...

The presence of the hormone leptin may hinder prenatal development, which could explain the origin of type 2 diabetes, according to...

An analysis of fossilized Native American feces shows that our ancestors ate up to sixteen times the fiber that we do today, but our...

Managing diabetes is hugely challenging for people of any age, but a new study suggests that young people may suffer all the more....

Disruptions to the gut’s ecosystem could be a future symptom facing young children who take antibiotics, which makes them more susceptible...

Breastfeeding a newborn holds many benefits for mommy and baby; it reduces the baby's risk for colds and viruses, it helps his bones (and yours)...

Fans of the Dexcom G5 Mobile have something to smile about.

At yesterday's hearing with the U.S. Food and Drug...

If you start your day with a cup of tea and end it with a glass of red wine, your blood sugar may thank you.

At least that...

As medical experts continue to debate whether or not "healthy obesity" can even exist, one new study suggests that risk for heart disease...

For years, type 1 diabetics have been anxiously waiting for that medical marvel that can stop the constant injections: the artificial...

“Low-fat” has been the battle cry of the health-conscious for over ‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌...