Health Benefits of Green Tea For Diabetics

by Cindy

Health Benefits of Green Tea For Diabetics

Green tea is a popular natural remedy for many different health problems that has been used for thousands of years.  This substance is very widely used in Asia and is rapidly increasing in popularity in the United States.

Patients with diabetes can benefit in many different ways by adding this powerful anti-oxidant to their daily diet.  In addition, green tea is low in calories and natural sugars so diabetic patients can enjoy this beverage and reap the many health benefits of green tea without increasing their glucose levels!

Green tea is extracted from leaves from the plant Camellia sinensis and is prepared immediately after harvesting to prevent break down of numerous substances within the tea leaves.  This process allows the tea to retain its green color.  In addition, the tea retains useful natural products called polyphenol catechins, which are believed to be responsible for the many health benefits of green tea.

Green Tea Benefits for Diabetes

The use of green tea has been extensively studied in laboratory animals to determine how this substances affects the metabolism of sugars.  Research studies have found that green tea can improve glucose metabolism and benefit diabetics in the following ways:

  • Improved glucose metabolism by increasing insulin sensitivity
  • Lower fasting blood glucose levels
  • Improved kidney function
  • Improved liver function
  • Lower triglyceride levels
  • Reducing damage to insulin producing cells

It is important to understand that research about the benefits of green tea for diabetics is still ongoing.  Many of the above results were found in laboratory animals and have yet to be proven effective in human trials.  As more research is done the relationship between green tea and glucose metabolism should become more clear.

Health Benefits of Green Tea For Obesity

Obesity is a well-known risk factor for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.  Patients can benefit from using green tea every day to help boost metabolism.  Studies have also shown that green tea can increase the feeling of fullness and by stimulating the breakdown of fats.  This can help facilitate weight loss by reducing the patient’s appetite and food intake.  Current research suggests that green tea can help reduce weight and improve BMI but more studies need to be done to determine if these effects are long lasting.  Patients who use green tea for weight loss may also see improved glucose levels and a1c readings because weight loss is a common part of the diabetes management plan.

Benefits of Green Tea For Cardiovascular Health

At this time, research is still ongoing to determine how effective green tea is for improving heart health.  Isolated studies have demonstrated that consuming large amounts of green tea can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.  In addition, green tea may help reduce cholesterol levels by lowering LDL levels slightly.  At this time, there is conflicting evidence regarding the use of green tea for lowering cholesterol levels.

Can Green Tea Prevent Cancer?

Green tea consumption has been heavily studied for its possible effects on cancer.  Several research studies have shown that patients drinking green tea had a lower incidence of many different types of cancers including breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer.  Unfortunately, there are also many studies that show that green tea has no effect on cancer.  At this time, the true effects of green tea for the prevention of cancer remain unclear.

Green tea continues to be studied carefully for its role in the prevention of many chronic health conditions.  Patients who wish to try green tea for its health benefits should understand that the results of many scientific studies have been inconclusive.  However, green tea is inexpensive and has relatively few side effects and should be safe for most patients to drink daily.  If you are interested in using green tea for its many possible health benefits, ask your doctor if it is safe for you to do so!

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