Black tea helps fight diabetes, but it is no cure

Diabetes is a terrible and widespread disease and “cures” should never be bugled tabloid-style, thereby falsely raising hopes. When a British newspaper declared a few years back that black tea “may help cure diabetes,” the proper response was to cringe. Any tea distributor who rushes to wholesale black tea as a diabetes medicine should be looked at askance.

Diabetes has no known cure, certainly not Chinese black tea. The disease can be controlled by injecting manufactured insulin when a body doesn’t produce enough of its own. Its symptoms can be driven away by diet and exercise, but the proclivity for a body to have high blood sugar does not disappear with the symptoms.

The consequences of diabetes are liver failure, lung impairment, damage to eyesight and, ultimately, coma. The most common strain, Type 2 diabetes, may be present or on the verge of developing in 900 million people. This is a bad disease.

Still… Chinese black tea may help reduce the onset of it. That’s true. The tea is not a cure for diabetes, but it may be an aid in retarding its development. The health claim is repeatedly made by scientists and researchers working in various parts of the world. The encouraging results of their work periodically are announced.

In 2008, researchers at a pair of Scottish universities reported in a peer-reviewed medical journal that some properties of black tea do what insulin does in the body: help regulate sugar creation. The laboratory experiment showed that theaflavins in black tea have insulin-like effects in kidneys. However, the researchers would not say whether similar effects would be evident outside the laboratory.

In 2009, scientists at Tianjin University in China concluded from their research that black tea has a substance that produces the same effect as drugs approved to combat Type 2 diabetes. However, the scientists used tea extract in their experiments and couldn’t say if brewing and drinking Chinese black tea would bring the same result.

However, in 2012 a medical data study in Switzerland seemed to confer additional cause-and-effect status on the 2009 study. The Swiss researchers analyzed data from 50 countries and concluded that diabetes rates in a population were lowest if the population was a high consumer of black tea. Diabetes had the strongest such link with black tea.

What does this mean? Companies that wholesale black tea and wholesale blooming tea derived from black tea can correctly point to the positive impact that Chinese black tea seems to have on diabetes. Consumption of the tea should not be overstated, but neither should it be ignored.

Black tea seems to help fight diabetes. That’s a true claim and that’s enough for now.

Author Bio: Jean Alberti is a native of France and a celebrated chef on two continents (Europe and North America) who went to Greater China to open a restaurant in Shanghai and stayed to start a tea company in Macau. He named the company Wild & Bare Co. in reference to the splendor and durability of the camellia sinensis tea plant and to his personal commitment to deal only in teas grown and harvested under natural conditions.

Image Credit: 1, 2.

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