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Something Healthy for Black Tea Lovers

Monday, November 12, 2012

BLACK TEA LINKED TO LOWER TYPE 2 DIABETES RISK - Black tea represents 90 per cent of the tea sold in the West

Type 2 diabetes is less common in countries where people often enjoy high tea, a statistical model suggests.

The number of people with diabetes has increased nearly six-fold over the past few decades, stimulating interest in how foods could play a role in prevention, researchers said.

Calling tea the most widely used ancient hot beverage in the world, a team of French, British and Swiss researchers mined information on tea consumption in 50 countries based on 2009 sales data from a market research firm and looked for any correlation to five major diseases.

"We observed that, among the five health indicators, only the 'prevalence of diabetes' indicator appeared to have a strong statistical relationship with black tea consumption," Ariel Beresniak of Data Mining International in Geneva and co-authors concluded in Thursday's issue of the journal BMJ Open.

The correlation only points to a potential cause that needs to be further investigated, they cautioned, noting that establishing causality is one of the most difficult challenges in public health.

In the study, consumption of black tea was highest in Ireland at nearly 2.16 kilograms per year per person and lowest in South Korea at 0.0007 kilograms per year per person. Canada was at about the midpoint for consumption at less than 0.5 kilograms per year per person.

But the quality and consistency of consumption and health data among the 50 countries likely varied.

Other factors that weren't considered in the analysis may also be important, the researchers said.

The findings do back those of previous research, including a similar study in Europe.

While interest has grown in drinking green tea for its flavonoids in industrialized countries, black tea still represents 90 per cent of the tea sold in the West, the researchers said. In contrast, the Chinese population drinks 30 times more green tea per inhabitant than black tea.

Green tea is fermented to form black tea, keeping the caffeine about the same while different flavanoids are released. Flavanoids including theaflavins and thearubigins are thought to carry potential health benefits.

One of the authors is employed by Unilever and provided access to the global tea consumption data without any financial agreement or grant to support the study, which was carried out independently.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Typically, I have one cup of black tea in the morning with my breakfast and then a couple of cups of green tea through the day but I find if I drink too much of it, it bothers my stomach so I limit it to 2 cups a day.
    1438 days ago
  • ANGEL1066
    I switched to tea from coffee for morning beverage in late spring this year, and lost the stomach upset that had been with me most mornings for years. Tea rocks. I would prefer green tea, but cannot by loose leaf green tea locally, so I use black. If the effects are that different, I may search out a green tea source on line. Thanks.
    1439 days ago
    I'm a rabid tea drinker/collector. I love all things related to tea so this article was of great interest to me. Thanks for sharing.
    1439 days ago
    I drink tea with my youngest son and his friends. He taught me how to do it: measure out the tea, check water temp, time the steep, pre-heat everything. Quite the ritual.
    1439 days ago
  • HHB4181
    1440 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Other then my water, the only beverage I will drink is my raw green tea. I don't really care for the black. Lots of benefits have been atrributed to green tea as well. The Chinese are always so young looking and healthy, they must be doing something right!
    Thanks for sharing this information!
    1440 days ago
    emoticon I love tea!
    1440 days ago
    Interesting! Thanks for sharing :)
    1441 days ago
    Thanks for the good info.! I'm not a tea drinker, but will try to drink black and some green more often than not! Anything can't hurt! emoticon emoticon
    1441 days ago
    We went paleo and my husbands pre diabetes is gone. I drink tea each day and he drinks coffee. Stopping the wheat like in "Wheat Belly" made all the difference.
    Hugs for the informative blog,
    1441 days ago
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