Tea consumption could be beneficial to Diabetes
In a healthy person blood, glucose levels are maintained at a constant concentration.Insulin, a hormone secreted by cells in the pancreas, regulates blood glucose levels.
After a meal, glucose levels in blood increase as glucose in digested food enters the blood Stream. This leads to increased secretion of insulin into the blood. Insulin stimulates liver and muscle cells to take up and metabolize more glucose. thus regulating the level of glucose in the blood.
In Type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes) the pancreas does not produce the required amount of insulin to regulate blood glucose.
ln Type 2 diabetes (non-insulin dependent diabetes) liver and muscle cells cannot utilize the insulin produced to regulate blood glucose.
Some plant extracts contain substances which could mimic the action of insulin and help in managing Type 2, or non-insulin dependent diabetes. The flavonol, myricetin, which is present in tea, is found to be able to mimic insulin activity.
The enzyme, alpha-amylase, catalyzes the conversion of Starch in food to glucose in the digestive process. Glucose in the digestive tract is easily absorbed into the blood stream while starch is not absorbed.
Polyphenols in tea inhibit alpha-amylase activity and could contribute to reducing blood glucose levels.
These studies indicate that tea consumption could be beneficial to diabetics.
Although a large number of different types of studies has demonstrated the beneficial effects of tea on heart disease, cancer and oral health, the result of studies on tea and diabetes have emerged only recently.
Thus, the significance of tea on diabetes needs to be evaluated further.