Green tea prevents type 2 diabetes mellitus

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By David Liu, PHD

Sunday Sept 23, 2012 ( -- A review study in PLoS One suggests that drinking green tea or taking green tea extract supplements may help reduce risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

G.J. van Woudenbergh of InterAct Consortium and colleagues found the possible protective effect after meta-analysing data from 340,234 participants who were enrolled in the EPIC-InterAct case-cohort study and followed up during 3.99 million person-years during which 12,403 incident type 2 diabetes mellitus were identified.

Tea consumption was correlated inversely with incidence of type 2 diabetes. Those who drank four cups of tea per day or more were 16 percent less likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus, compared with non-drinkers.

It was also  found that those drinking less than 4 cups of tea per day was associated with 7 percent reduced risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus, compared with those who did not drink any.

The researchers concluded "A linear inverse association was observed between tea consumption and incidence of type 2 diabetes. People who drink at least 4 cups of tea per day may have a 16% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than non-tea drinkers."

Type 2 diabetes mellitus is believed to affect an estimated 25.8 million people of all ages or 8.3 percent of the U.S. population with 18.8 million cases identified and 7.0 million people undiagnosed.  The disease has no cure, but can be controlled.  Many things can be done to reduce the risk.

Drinking green tea has been associated with reduced risk of obesity in early studies among other benefits.

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