Green tea and diabetes

Lab research has linked green tea and its compounds to many potential health benefits, including preventing cancer and type 2 diabetes. High blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia, is a risk factor for diabetes, and having diabetes also increases your chances of getting cancer.

A new animal study now suggests that a compound found in green tea may reduce the spike in blood sugar that occurs after eating starchy foods.

The study was published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research.

In the study, mice were placed on a corn starch diet to mimic what happens when humans eat starchy foods. The mice were then fed an antioxidant found in green tea called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). The researchers found that, in mice given EGCG, the blood sugar spike that typically occurs after eating was significantly reduced (about 50% lower) compared to mice that were not fed the antioxidant.

If we were to drink the amount of EGCG given to these mice, it would be approximately the same as one and a half cups of green tea, according to the authors.

Interestingly, the EGCG didn’t have much of an effect on the rise in blood sugar after mice were fed glucose or maltose, sugars broken down from starch. The authors say that an explanation for this probably stems from how the body converts and breaks down starch into sugars for energy. It seems that EGCG may be specifically interfering with that breakdown process, preventing starch from being turned into the sugar that eventually enters our bloodstream to cause blood sugar spikes.

The study suggests that this green tea effect is limited to starchy foods consumed simultaneously with green tea. Meaning that, drinking tea hours after eating a sleeve of crackers probably won’t help reduce the rise in blood sugar that is bound to happen. Also, adding sugar to a cup of tea may actually eliminate the effect since table sugar is already in a simplified form that can readily enter the bloodstream.

Examples of starchy foods that can raise blood sugar include refined carbohydrates like white bread, white pasta, white potatoes, white rice and saltine crackers.

Maintaining a normal blood sugar level is important for health. Just as there are foods that can cause blood sugar to rise, there are also foods that can help lower or control blood sugar levels. The fiber in whole grains, such as whole wheat bread, oatmeal and brown rice, can help control and slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream. Beans, whole fruits, non-starchy vegetables, and lean protein can also help manage blood sugar.

The results from this study add to our knowledge of how green tea may interact with other components in our diet to influence our health. Research on humans, however, would be necessary to confirm the findings.

Green Tea and Diabetes Management

Nearly 10 percent of people in the United States have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Foundation.

When you have diabetes, life becomes all about regulating your blood sugar to stay healthy. And while many must turn to medication and insulin injections, there is evidence to suggest that drinking green tea could make diabetes management easier.

Several studies have pointed to green tea as a potentially effective method of controlling diabetes, and even improving insulin sensitivity. Just how it works isn’t completely clear, but it’s believed catechins within the tea — also responsible for its anticancer and heart health benefits — may be responsible.

How Diabetes Works

When you eat foods with carbohydrates, they are digested into sugar. In response, the pancreas releases insulin to help cells absorb glucose to be used as fuel. However, when you have diabetes, the process is hindered.

People with type 2 diabetes have cells that are desensitized to insulin, which is known as insulin resistance. This, and the fact that the pancreas often stops releasing enough insulin, makes their blood sugar levels difficult to control.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease; the cells of the pancreas that produce insulin are attacked and killed by the body’s immune system, and simply do not produce insulin at all.

8 Essential Benefits of Green Tea “

Most studies on the effects of green tea in people with diabetes have focused on type 2 diabetes, as it is more common, accounting for 90 to 95 percent of the diabetes seen in the United States.

Green Tea and Diabetes Prevention

There are indications that green tea can reduce the risk of developing diabetes. According to one study in Japan, people who drank six or more cups of green tea daily were 33 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people who drank just one cup per week.

Another study found that people who drank green tea consistently for a period of 10 years had smaller waist circumferences and lower body fat levels, showing that the tea may play a role in reducing obesity risk.

But tea’s benefits don’t stop at prevention. For people already diagnosed with diabetes, green tea may be able to help manage blood sugar levels.

According to a comprehensive review, green tea consumption is associated with decreased fasting glucose levels and A1C levels, as well as reduced fasting insulin levels, which are a measurement of diabetes health. While not all studies have shown these positive results, green tea has still been shown to be beneficial in other ways.

The Pacific College of Oriental Medicine suggests that the antioxidant activity of polyphenols and polysaccharides are to credit for these benefits. These same antioxidants are credited with anticancer, cholesterol lowering, and blood pressure management benefits.

Making the Most of Green Tea

If you have diabetes and want to reap the potential benefits of green tea, steer clear of additions that can cause blood glucose changes. It’s best to drink the mild-tasting tea plain, instead of diluting it with milk or sweetening it with sugar.

The 1-Hour Effects of AriZona Green Tea “

Teabags are just fine (loose leaf is best), but if you want to enjoy a fresher, green flavor, you can buy traditional matcha green tea online and in specialty shops. Matcha is a green tea powder, traditionally used in Chinese tea ceremonies. It is prepared with a small bowl and bamboo whisk, though a spoon or wire whisk can work in a pinch. Because the tea is more concentrated in a matcha powder, you may reap additional benefits over bagged green tea.


Obesity and type 2 diabetes are major public health issues worldwide, contributing to increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The proportions of people with obesity and/or type 2 diabetes have increased and recently reaching epidemic levels in Asia . Although pharmacologic modality is the mainstay treatment of diabetes, remedies using plants (e.g., garlic, psyllium, and green tea) have stimulated a new interest in research . Green tea (Camellia sinensis) is one of the world’s most popular beverages, especially in Asian countries including Korea, China, and Japan. Because of the high rate of green tea consumption in these populations, even small effects on an individual basis could have a large public health impact . A population-based, prospective cohort study has shown that green tea consumption is associated with reduced mortality due to all causes and cardiovascular disease as well , and randomized controlled trials have indicated that green tea is effective in decreasing blood pressure, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, oxidative stress, and a marker of chronic inflammation .

Various studies have shown the beneficial effects of green tea, not only on cardiovascular diseases but also on obesity and type 2 diabetes itself . In a retrospective cohort study performed in Japan, a 33% risk reduction of developing type 2 diabetes was found in subjects consuming six or more cups of green tea daily compared to those consuming less than 1 cup per week . Wu et al. reported that Taiwanese subjects who had habitually consumed tea for more than 10 years showed lower body fat composition and smaller waist circumference. Evidences from epidemiological studies suggest the possibility of green tea being a novel strategy for treatment or prevention of obesity and diabetes.

However, a limited number of clinical trials using green tea, green tea extracts (GTEs), or its main ingredient catechin have shown disappointing results in controlling hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetic patients or protecting the condition in healthy subjects. MacKenzie et al. showed no significant difference in glucose control after 3 months of ingestion of decaffeinated GTE in type 2 diabetic patients in a double-blinded, placebo-controlled, randomized trial. Similarly, Nagao et al. showed that plasma glucose levels and A1c did not improve after 12 weeks of supplementation with catechin in patients with type 2 diabetes . However, they showed that the addition of catechin decreased A1c level and increased serum insulin level compared to the placebo group in a subgroup of patients who have been treated with insulin therapy. Also, Hsu et al. showed no difference in glycemic control or lipid parameters after 16 weeks of green tea supplementation. Ryu et al. showed that 4 weeks of green tea consumption did not affect inflammation, adiponectin levels, or insulin resistance in type 2 diabetic patients, and they suggested that those mechanisms were unlikely to explain the benefits in cardiovascular risk or mortality by tea consumption observed in epidemiological studies.

Despite these equivocal results, several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the positive effect of green tea on glucose metabolism or obesity. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the most abundant form of catechin in green tea, has been known to be the main attributable factor of beneficial effects of green tea . EGCG inhibits adipocyte proliferation and differentiation in 3T3-L1 cells , increases fat oxidation , and increases expression of GLUT-4 in adipose tissue of an animal model . In human studies, clear increases in energy expenditure were documented . Also, some suggested the protective function of EGCG for cytokine-induced β-cell destruction mediated by inhibition of nuclear factor-κB activation . Recently, Tian et al. showed that green tea polyphenols had antiobesity effect by up-regulating adiponectin levels in rats. They suggested that the involved mechanisms were the inhibition of Erk activation, alleviation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) phosphorylation, and increases in the PPARγ expression . Park et al. revealed the ambivalent role of gallated catechin (GC) in green tea, including EGCG, in glucose tolerance. GC acutely reduces blood glucose levels mainly through its activities in the alimentary tract while increasing the glucose level when in the circulation by blocking normal glucose uptake into the tissues. They suggested the development of nonabsorbable derivatives of GC with only positive luminal effect as a prevention strategy of type 2 diabetes and obesity. As mentioned above, many researches are being performed to define the precise molecular mechanisms of green tea and ultimately, its clinical application in obesity and type 2 diabetes.

In this study, Bae and his colleagues demonstrated the possibility of GTE as an antiobestic and/or antidiabetic agent when coadministered with another dietary supplement poly-γ-glutamic acid (γ-PGA) in db/db mice, potentially through the action of intestinal GTE. γ-PGA is a main constituent of the viscous material in Korean chungkookjang and Japanese natto. The study presents the results of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy that γ-PGA can interact with EGCG, and this possible complex formation may delay the absorption of GCs to systemic circulation from the intestine, resulting in decreased blood glucose level. The protective effects of GTE+γ-PGA regimen on body weight gain and development of glucose intolerance were much better than treatment with either GTE or γ-PGA alone. Therefore, they suggest that GTE+γ-PGA treatment may be a promising preventative and therapeutic tool for obesity and type 2 diabetes. Future studies, especially in human, are warranted to confirm these benefits in patients with diabetes or healthy subjects, as well as to define the precise molecular mechanisms of action of green tea supplementation.

Japanese Green Tea and Diabetes – 10 Reasons Why It is Good for Prevention and Management

March 01, 2017

According to the Center for Disease Control, almost 30 million Americans have diabetes, and 25% of those do not even know it. Preventing diabetes is a critical part of reducing its long-term health detriments that it is doing to our country. The number of people who suffer from diabetes continues to rise, and another 86 million American adults have prediabetes. Without intervention, up to 30% of people with prediabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes within a period of five years.

When you have diabetes, your main goal to stay healthy is to regular your blood sugar. Many people use prescription medication and insulin to do this, but studies strongly suggest that drinking green tea can also make diabetes more manageable. Here are ten reasons why green tea is good for the prevention and management of diabetes.

1. Green Tea Can Reduce the Risk of Developing Diabetes

In a study performed in Japan, those who drank at least six cups of Japanese green tea daily decreased their chances by one-third of developing type 2 diabetes compared to people who consumed under one cup per week.

2. The Catechins in Green Tea Have Powerful Health Benefits

Several ideas have been proposed to find the link between green tea and its beneficial effects on blood sugar. Catechins are a natural phenol and antioxidant. They can be found in several foods, including peaches, barley, and vinegar, but are most readily available in green tea. and vinegar. This effective ingredient in green tea has shown itself to be the main attributable factor in reducing the risk of diabetes. (Read more about catechins in my other article.)

3. Green Tea Helps the Body Effectively Metabolize Sugar

People suffering from diabetes are unable to properly maintain healthy blood sugar levels. While insulin is produced by people without diabetes to decrease blood sugar, people with diabetes are not sensitive to insulin, making blood glucose levels rise. A study done on mice found that green tea helps sensitize the body’s cells so they can metabolize sugar better.

4. The Polyphenols in Green Tea Make it a Powerhouse for Antioxidants

Polyphenols are great antioxidants that help reduce oxidative stress in the body. They also help arteries to widen, which in turn decreases blood pressure, cholesterol, and prevents clotting. These health benefits reduce the risk of developing any heart disease, which is relatively higher in people who have diabetes than in those who do not. The polyphenols in green tea also aid in the regulation of glucose in the body, which works to control diabetes. (Read more about polyphenols in my other article.)

5. Unfermented Leaves Make Green Tea More Potent Than Other Teas

Unlike some other teas, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, green tea is especially beneficial because it is prepared from unfermented leaves. This leaves the tea in its pure form, destroying a very small amount of its polyphenols. Drinking green tea from 100% pure leaves that have no been processed is the most natural and effective way to obtain its health benefits.

6. The Moderate Caffeine Can Give You Just the Boost You Need

Without physical activity and weight loss, people put themselves at a higher risk for developing diabetes. With the caffeine boost that green tea provides, it can help boost you into motion to get some physical activity. According to the Center for Disease Control, the number one cause of diabetes is obesity. Without containing too much caffeine that is likely to set you up for a crash later in the day, it provides just a slight boost to get you going in the morning.

7. Free Radicals Are no Match for Green Tea

An excess of free radicals contributes to developing diabetes, along with other health problems. The strong antioxidants that are found in green tea work to neutralize free radicals in the body, which can help prevent the damage that they cause. Most doctors believe that free radicals are the primary contributor to aging. They are created through the everyday processes of eating, breathing, and physical activity. Free radicals hurt the body by tearing cell nuclei apart, killing important DNA components. This creates cell mutations, which can lead to many health problems including cancer. As green tea neutralizes these particles before they can damage genetic material, it slows down the aging process.

8. Green Tea Attacks Obesity

Japanese green tea lowers your levels of fatty acids and triglycerides, which control obesity and prevent complications that may surround people who suffer from obesity. Additionally, the catechins in green tea also boost metabolism and are able to reduce your appetite. If you replace your regular soda or sugary beverage with green tea each day, you will be saving yourself hundreds of calories. This is a huge step in the right direction when it comes to fighting diabetes. Read more about this topic on my another article – Japanese Green Tea and Diet.

9. Green Tea Will Help You Exercise

Drinking green tea can help your body burn a higher amount of calories throughout the day than you would if you chose a different beverage. This also helps to increases metabolism and allows you to exercise with more stamina. Green tea also stimulates the nervous system, which begins the process of burning fat. Drinking a cup of green tea in the morning can give you the energy you need to get going and finish a strong workout before starting your day.

10. Green Tea Protects You From Hyperglycemia

If left untreated, hyperglycemia will release oxidative stress leading to health problems like diabetic retinopathy. A Brazilian study researched the benefits of green tea in protecting the retina in rats who are suffering from diabetes. The diabetic rats were given green tea constantly for 12 weeks. The study showed that green tea could protect retinas of the rats from any disease that is caused by diabetes, such as the neurodegeneration disorder diabetic retinopathy.

Tips for Consuming Green Tea at Home

It is important for those suffering from diabetes to pay close attention to tips for getting the full benefit out of their green tea consumption. Firstly, it is important to drink enough green tea so that it is effective. This equates to about four cups per day. This will provide you with up to 1000 mg of polyphenols per day, which is the desired amount for positive health results and for the body to recover itself from damage. Polyphenols values may vary between 5 to 180 mg per cup of green tea, so you need to consume enough for the best result.
Drink your green tea plain without adding cream, sugar, or milk. This is especially important for people who have diabetes. The addition of sugar into green tea counteracts any weight loss benefits that it provides.
Drink your green tea in the morning to start your day off with an appetite suppressant. This will prevent you from eating large portions throughout the day. Green tea will also stimulate the metabolism, which is best done in the morning.
Remember that drinking green tea alone will not cure diabetes. It is important to incorporate it into a healthy lifestyle with exercise and healthy food. While green tea can help protect your body from diseases such as diabetes or those that are associated with diabetes, green tea by itself will not cure the disease.

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We’ve known for years that tea is good for you. In fact, it’s often known as a “superdrink”. But did you know that tea offers specific benefits for people with diabetes (diabeteas)?

Unfortunately for those of us who like a milky brew, the health benefits only come from black or green tea. No sugar, no milk, no herbal tea.

We’ve looked at six benefits of drinking tea for people with diabetes.

Spilled tea.

1. Tea improves insulin sensitivity…

Type 2 diabetes is caused by insulin resistance, which occurs when we stop being sensitive to insulin. Not being sensitive to insulin means the pancreas has to produce more and more, which can destroy insulin-producing cells over time.

Several studies have indicated that tea improves insulin sensitivity (sensitivitea?) – as long as you don’t add milk.

Highly organised tea.

2. …Lowers blood pressure…

High blood pressure affects eight out of 10 people with type 2 diabetes, and three out of 10 people with type 1 diabetes. Black or green tea helps you to keep healthy blood pressure levels.

Very bright tea.

3. …Reduces the risk of heart disease…

Heart disease is one of the most common diabetic complications. It is the cause of death for 80 per cent of people with diabetes. Tea has a number of heart health benefits.

Teabag, of a different sort.

4. …Lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes…

For those of us at risk of type 2 diabetes, three to five cups of black tea per day helps stop type 2 diabetes from developing.

Green tea.

5. …Lowers the risk of cancer…

Diabetes is linked to a higher risk of certain kinds of cancer. These include pancreatic cancer, liver cancer and endometrial cancer. Research suggests that tea could reduce these risks.

Fancy tea.

6. …And lowers stress levels.

Tea contains theanine, an amino acid that controls blood pressure levels and lowers stress. Stress hormones like cortisol cause blood glucose levels to rise.


Herbal Teas & Diabetes

April 7, 2015

In an age of pharmaceuticals we tend to forget that there are additional remedies such as herbal teas that can improve those suffering from diabetes.

Herbal teas are once again gaining popularity in the United States and this could be due to the infusion and acceptance of Western and Eastern Medicine techniques being blended together more often.

So what type of herbs help to control diabetes? There are a few but the three most popularly utilized herbal teas for diabetes control are Bilberry Tea, Sage Tea, and Nettle Tea.

Bilberry Tea – Never heard of it? Well maybe you know the Bilberry by its more popular name of the American Huckleberry.

Bilberry herbal tea is known as the most effective herbal tea in aiding diabetes for those who are not insulin dependent. So mainly we’re discussing those individuals who suffer from type 2 diabetes benefiting from Bilberry tea.

The reason behind Bilberry teas effectiveness in lowering blood sugar levels is because it contains something called glucoquinine, which is a compound known for its ability to lower blood sugar levels.

Another reason why Bilberry tea is such a good herbal addition to one’s holistic medicine cabinet is because it is often used to treat eye issues such as diabetic neuropathy, a symptom that usually accompanies those with type 2 diabetes.

Sage Tea – There are many medicinal uses for Sage tea, and one of them happens to be its most positive effect on how your body uses insulin.

Studies have shown that Sage has the ability to boost insulin activity in diabetics. Those with type 2 diabetes found Sage to be the most effective herb within their holistic cabinet.

Along with being an effective aid in Diabetes control, Sage tea is known for its positive effect on liver function. A liver that is not functioning at its best can lead to headaches, fatigue, and reduced immunity. So Sage’s positive effects on the liver and insulin boosting qualities, seems to be one of its greatest medicinal effects.

Nettle Tea – Nettle seems to be a panacea of holistic wealth for many individuals. Known for its detoxifying qualities it’s also becoming known as an effective aid for those suffering from type 1 diabetes.

Stinging Nettles have been shown to lower blood glucose levels as a medicinal plant noted in writings such as those of Nvicenna. Recently, there have also been other investigations that indicate the hypoglycemic affect of the Stinging Nettle plant. The active ingredient in Stinging Nettle caused a marked increase in insulin secretion during experiments. A simultaneous assay of glucose showed that the increase in insulin was associated with a decrease in glucoses levels.

TIDBIT: A few weeks back we had a young man stop in the shop and purchased quite a bit of Stinging Nettle. He was in excellent shape, and told us that he consumed two cups of Nettle tea a day to combat his type 1 diabetes. He stated that as long as he consumed two cups a day, he did not have to take insulin injections. I had never experienced a testimony that powerful when it came to herbal remedies. This experience is what led me to write this little article concerning herbs and diabetes.

NOTE: I am not stating that Nettle tea will work for everyone and I am just relaying a story. Of course, you should always consult a physician when combining herbs and ones prescribed medications.


3 Best Tea For Diabetes & Blood Sugar Control

The brand Pure Leaf sweet tea contains 42g of sugar per bottle… even worse than the 39g in a can of Coca Cola. (1) (2)

Of course, you already know that sweet tea is bad for blood glucose levels. Even if you don’t have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, spikes like that contribute to inflammation and accelerate the cellular aging process.

Not to mention, the empty calories make packing on pounds all the more easier.

What if you could drink something that had the opposite effect?

Not just sugar-free but rather, a beverage that might actually lower your blood sugar, instead of having a neutral or negative effect?

Tea for diabetes discussed on Dr. Oz include black, white, and green tea, which all come from the same plant (Camellia sinensis). Oz also mentions chamomile for possibly controlling blood sugar levels. (3)

It’s true that those, as well as ginger, turmeric, and hibiscus tea, may help lower blood glucose and regulate insulin. However, the most robust scientific evidence is for the following three herbal teas.

They don’t have enough human clinical data to be considered “proven” for helping diabetics and/or blood sugar levels. Therefore, they are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

1. Mulberry leaf tea

It’s not the fructose-rich berries from the tree, but rather the leaves of the white mulberry tree (Morus alba) and other types which might work.

To date, there are 5 clinical trials which have been published and peer-reviewed involving the mulberry plant for type 2 diabetes.

The active ingredient in the leaf is believed to be 1-deoxynojirimycin (DNJ). (4)

This following chart comes from a 2017 double-blinded and placebo-controlled trial involving 37 people who were given 125 to 500 mg of IminoNorm capsules. Those are a patented form of mulberry leaf extract.

After consuming 50g of a simple carb (maltodextrin) you can see how those taking mulberry leaf extract had a less pronounced spike during the 2 hours which followed.

Even before this and similar trials, it’s been reported that lower blood sugar is among the main mulberry leaf tea benefits. For generations, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has used San Zhi (mulberry twig) as an herbal treatment for diabetes. (5)

Even if the DNJ in the leaves and twigs work, obviously the efficacy of drinking a brewed beverage made from them would vary greatly, depending on source and strength.

While much more research is needed, mulberry leaf appears to be the best tea for blood sugar control based on the preliminary findings thus far.

The brand Triple Leaf, which is pictured atop this article, is probably the bestselling brand in America. However, it’s not our first choice because it’s an herbal blend with astragalus and schisandra berry. Both good, but they’re not known for blood sugar benefits.

If you want pure mulberry leaf, we like Ssanggye Tea, which is Korean brand. You can buy it on Amazon.

2. Cinnamon tea

Among the herbal teas for blood sugar, cinnamon is one of the most touted. There are at least 6 blinded and well-designed clinical trials whose results suggest that cassia cinnamon powder/extract has a lowering effect on fasting blood glucose levels. (6)

Study Type Length Cinnamon Type & Daily Dosage Fasting Plasma Glucose (normal blood sugar)
Baseline (mean ± SD) After (mean ± SD)
Khan et al Single-blind RCT 40 days Cassia powder 1 g/3 g/6 g Placebo 13.77 ± 1.33 13.97 ± 1.23
Cinnamon 12.0 ± 1.43 9.1 ± 1.40
Mang et al Double- blind RCT 40 days Cassia aqueous extract 3 g Placebo 8.66 ± 1.47 8.31 ± 1.62
Cinnamon 9.26 ± 2.26 8.15 ± 1.65
Vanschoonbe et al Double-blind RCT 6 weeks Cassia powder 1.5 g Placebo 8.28 ± 0.33 8.07 ± 0.36
Cinnamon 8.37 ± 0.64 7.91 ± 0.71
Blevins et al Double-blind RCT 3 months Cassia powder 1 g Placebo 8.04 8.02
Cinnamon 7.38 6.84
Akilen et al Double-blind RCT 12 weeks Cassia powder 2 g Placebo 8.77 ± 2.59 8.74 ± 3.11
Cinnamon 8.82 ± 3.45 8.04 ± 3.10
Anderson et al Randomized placebo controlled trial 2 months Cassia (CinSulin) 500 mg Placebo 8.57 ± 0.32 8.44 ± 0.34
Cinnamon 8.85 ± 0.36 8.19 ± 0.29

Does cinnamon tea lower blood sugar?

Most likely it does. The spice contains a compound called methylhydroxychalcone polymer (MHCP). Based on the science, it mimics insulin in the human body. It appears to be good for lowering blood sugar immediately, as well as up to 12 hours after consumption. This benefit has been observed in both diabetics and non-diabetics.

Whether in the form of tea, capsules, or sprinkling it on your food, the problem with cinnamon supplementation is that is can be toxic to your liver.

Cinnamon contains a naturally occurring compound known as coumarin. Both human and animal studies confirm it is poisonous to the liver. Some animal research also reports it being bad for the kidneys.

The US government doesn’t regulate this source of coumarin but many countries do. In Germany, 0.1 mg of coumarin per kg of body weight is the tolerable daily intake (TDI). (7)

Since cassia cinnamon contains up to 1% coumarin content, it means that as little as a ¼ teaspoon per day may put you over that limit!

Cassia or Chinese cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia) only became popular within the past several decades. The reason is due to its lower price and greater availability.

Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) is known as true cinnamon. Grown in Sri Lanka, it has a milder flavor with less heat.

The amount of coumarin in Ceylon is exponentially less than Cassia; up to 250x lower. About 0.004% versus 1%. (8)

The best solution may be to use a different type.

Unfortunately, almost all of the diabetes treatment trials used cassia, not Ceylon. It remains to be seen whether or not Ceylon offers the same suspected blood sugar lowering benefit.

That said, both are types of cinnamon (Cinnamomum plant genus) and both contain MHCP, which is the compound believed to be responsible for the benefit.

Even if it doesn’t work as well, because it contains up to 250x less coumarin, the best cinnamon tea for blood sugar control will be that which is made using Ceylon. You can drink it on a daily or regular basis, without worrying about coumarin exposure.

The good news with both types is that they’re very high in antioxidants, which may help offset potential side effects on the liver.

On Amazon you can buy Ceylon cinnamon tea bags, which are convenient for work and on-the-go.

While at home, you might get more bang for your buck by simply stirring in a ¼ teaspoon of the spice powder into a mug of hot water. This is the brand of Ceylon we buy in bulk.

3. Gymnema tea

It’s obscure to the Western world but common in India, as part of their Ayurvedic medicine. The name gymnema comes from the scientific name of the plant, which is Gymnema sylvestre.

Photo by J.M.Garg via Wikipedia

Native to tropical climates throughout western India, Africa, and Australia, the plant’s Hindi name literally translates as “sugar destroyer.”

Why? Because after chewing the leaves, the unique gymnemic acids cause your tongue to not taste sweetness.

Powdered donuts will literally taste like chalk, no joke!

The fact that it discourages you from eating sugary foods isn’t the only reason gymnema tea is good for blood sugar. Research also suggests the compounds in it have a hypoglycemic effect.

Using leaf extract, clinical trials have been conducted on both type 1 and type 2 diabetics.

The earliest was published in 1990 and involved 27 children and adults with type 1 diabetes. After taking a 400 mg daily dosage of the extract, eventually the patients had to have their prescription insulin treatments decreased:

“…the GS4 treated patients developed hypoglycemic episodes and their insulin dose was reduced by 10 units at a time.”

That’s quite remarkable considering that the 37 diabetics in the control group – who didn’t receive the treatment – experienced no such thing during that time. (9)

In addition to diabetes, Gymnema sylvestre supplements are often marketed for weight loss, since they can deter the eating of sweets.

For tea, not many Western brands sell it. The brand Buddha Teas has organic gymnema tea they sell in bleach-free bags. You can get it on Amazon.

The takeaway?

Hibiscus tea has more antioxidants than matcha, ginger can help with upset stomach, and turmeric battles inflammation. When it comes to blood sugar tea, the best based on research are gymnema, cinnamon, and mulberry leaf.

Claims that they are teas for diabetes prevention are an exaggeration, as they haven’t been studied for preventing the disease.

There is a fair amount of evidence suggest they might help diabetics and non-diabetics alike, in achieving milder blood sugar spikes after consuming carbs.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Black Tea Improves Glucose Levels, May Help Prevent Diabetes

Although green tea has been getting most of the attention lately for its myriad health benefits, accumulating research shows that black tea offers advantages, too. The latest revelation: black tea’s ability to blunt increases in blood sugar. 1

A new study has found that black tea significantly reduces rises in blood glucose levels among both healthy and pre-diabetic adults, in this case after consuming a sugary drink. 1

“We demonstrated that black tea reduced incremental blood glucose after sucrose consumption at 60, 90 and 120 minutes compared with placebo,” wrote the authors of the study, which appears in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1

“The data confirm that polyphenols lower glycemic response and may be responsible for the lower rates of diabetes observed with tea and coffee consumption,” said Peter Clifton, M.D., PhD., professor of nutrition at the University of South Australia in Adelaide, who recently conducted a review of the role of dietary polyphenols (in tea, cinnamon, coffee, chocolate, pomegranate, red wine and olive oil, among others) in regulating glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity, published in Nutrients. 2, 3

The Polyphenol Power of Tea

Indeed, the major bioactive compounds in black tea are polyphenols—naturally occurring antioxidants abundant in plant foods (and drinks) that are said to promote health and protect against a range of diseases. 4

Black, green and oolong teas are all made from the plant Camellia Sinensis. Green tea, which is minimally oxidized, contains simple flavonoids called catechins. During the process of making black tea, which is more fully oxidized, the catechins convert to complex flavonoids known as theaflavins and thearubigens, and research has shown that theaflavins and thearubigens maintain substantial anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-hypertensive properties. 5

“The new study confirms the findings of a number of biological, physiological, clinical, epidemiological and ecological studies suggesting a positive effect of black tea consumption on diabetes prevention and clinical diabetes,” said Ariel Beresniak, M.D., PhD., chief executive officer of Data Mining International in Geneva and lead author of a large global study on black tea and health published in the British Medical Journal. 5,6

That study, which involved data from 50 countries around the world, found that countries with the highest levels of black tea consumption—Ireland followed by the United Kingdom, Turkey and Russia—were associated with the lowest incidence of type 2 diabetes. The U.S. ranked close to the bottom of the list of black-tea drinking countries. 5

Proving Cause and Effect

Still, the new study doesn’t prove cause and effect, Dr. Beresniak said, adding that more causality research needs to be done on the glucose-control benefits of black tea. 6

While black tea extracts have been shown in laboratory experiments to block carbohydrate absorption and to suppress postprandial blood glucose in animal studies, the authors of the latest report said they undertook their study because of the relative dearth of clinical research on the effects of black tea on postprandial glycemic control in humans. 1

The authors also noted that keeping blood sugar in check after meals is a critical but simple way to help prevent diabetes, and that black tea, regarded as a functional food, may be useful to that end. 1

Tea, after water, is the most widely consumed beverage in the world. About 78% of the tea produced worldwide is black and is used primarily in Europe and North America; about 20% is green and is consumed mostly in Asian countries; and about 2% is oolong, which undergoes a level of oxidation somewhere in between green and black teas and is favored in China and Taiwan. 7

As of 2015, 415 million people in the world—one of 11 adults—have diabetes, according to the Brussels-based International Diabetes Federation. By 2040, that number is expected to climb to 642 million. An estimated 318 million worldwide have impaired glucose tolerance, or prediabetes. 8

The U.S. leads the developed world in diabetes, with more than 29 million cases among adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 86 million adults in the country—more than one-third of the population—have pre-diabetes, a serious health condition that increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes as well as other chronic diseases. The vast majority of those with pre-diabetes (90%) don’t know they have it. 9

Last updated on 02/13/2017 View Sources

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2. Prof Peter Clifton FRACP PhDMD, PhD Professor of Nutrition, University of South Australia




6. Ariel Beresniak, MD, MPH, PhD


Data Mining International, Geneva, Switzerland




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