Tea comes in just behind water as the most consumed beverage in the world. All tea comes from the dried leaves of the Camellia sinensis bush. Although it is available in many different varieties, non-herbal teas fall into four basic categories: black, green, oolong and white.
Many of the health benefits come from tea’s powerful antioxidants, called flavonoids. There are more than 6,000 types of flavonoids, and one of the most common categories are catechins. Much of the research on tea has focused on green tea because when compared to black tea, CHINA GREEN TEA contains 3.5 times more catechins.
Green tea is made from mature tea leaves and is less processed than other teas. Since the leaves have not been fermented, but instead are dried and steamed, green tea can keep its high level of catechins. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the most common catechin found in green tea and therefore has been the most researched.
You can consume green tea as a hot or cold beverage. It is also available in a more concentrated form called an extract. A green tea extract means that the active ingredients found in the green tea, such as the catechins, have been removed from the dried green tea leaves to produce a more concentrated form. Extracts are available in liquid, powder, capsule, or tablet forms.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases estimates that 30.3 million adults in the USA have diabetes. Another 7.2 million adults have it but don’t know it yet. It is not surprising that researchers want to find out if there is a relationship between green tea and blood sugar control.
One large analysis reviewed several studies and concluded that the catechins in green tea might help to lower fasting blood sugar levels when taken for three months or longer. Another study also supported that green tea may help improve fasting sugar levels, as well as lower levels of hemoglobin A1C. Hemoglobin A1C is a long-term measure of blood sugar levels. There are also studies that do not show any improvement in blood sugar control in people with diabetes. At this point, there is no clear answer, and more research is needed.
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