Posted on Nov 28, 2012

It has long been known that in many cases proper nutrition can control diabetes. Now, a study shows that switching your daily coffee for black tea might help protect against type 2 diabetes.

In the study, which was published in the journal BMJ Open, researchers evaluated data from 50 countries and learned that the per capita rate of diabetes was lowest in countries with the highest rate of black tea consumption. 

Researchers used a mathematical model to assess the affect of drinking black tea on various health conditions. The only link between black tea consumption and disease they were able to establish was for diabetes, although they cautioned that further study is necessary to confirm their findings.

One of the contributing researchers, Dr. Ariel Beresniak, of the mathematical research group Data Mining International in Geneva, Switzerland, noted that although the study showed a consistent relationship between drinking black tea and risk for type 2 diabetes, it does not prove a cause-and-effect relationship. 

“You certainly can’t say that [drinking black tea lowers the risk for diabetes] on the basis of this study alone, but the findings are consistent with previous studies that have also suggested a link,” Beresniak said.

So, should you start ordering a cup of Earl Grey instead of your morning latte? Until additional research has been conducted to show a causal relationship between tea consumption and reduced diabetes risk, the best reason to drink tea is because you enjoy it. 

Type 2 diabetes is a global health epidemic, with more than 900 million people worldwide projected either to have the disease by the year 2030 or have a high risk of developing it.

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