Can Drinking Green Tea Lower Blood Sugar Levels?

Most people run to get their first cup of coffee in the AM to start the day. Maybe you are one of them. Their is ample date that a few cups of black coffee has health benefits. How about after the cup of Joe" Green tea has support as a healthy choice, albeit not as popular as coffee. In "preclinical" studies, green tea extract (GTE) improves gut barrier function and reduces intestinal and systemic inflammation. Whether green tea or a GTE can do the same in humans to improve gut health and subsequent blood sugar control was studied in humans in a randomized trial. 

Research Study Methods

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in adults with metabolic syndrome (MetS predicting future diabetes and heart diseaes) and matched healthy persons who received a placebo or 1 g/d GTE for 28 days. Fasting blood glucose, insulin, and lipids were assessed at d 0, 14, and 28 days of each intervention. Intestinal inflammation was assessed in stool samples.

Study Results

Overall, 21 subjects with MetS (average age 40) and 19 healthypersons (average age 32) completed the study. Participants’ total polyphenol intakes decreased during each intervention compared with baseline (P < 0.001). Myeloperoxidase, a marker of inflammation, were lower in the GTE group. Fasting insulin, triglycerides, total and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol were unaffected by treatment, However, fasting blood glucose decreased in response to GTE. 

Researchers Conclusions and What You Can Do with Green Tea

Dietary interventions with green tea extract in healthy and MetS adults decreased fasting glucose and intestinal inflammation (myeloperoxidase) which was associated with improvements in fasting insulin.

Drinking several cups of green tea daily (after you finish your coffee) may improve glucose control with reductions in intestinal inflammation contributing to enhance insulin sensitivity.  Maybe that is why, in part, that they live so long and healthy in Okinawa (a famous Blue Zone area of longevity)



Dr. Joel Kahn

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