Drinking black tea may lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a study of people in 50 countries. Type 2 diabetes has been increasing rapidly around the world and is a serious concern, as it significantly increases the risk of heart attacks, kidney disease, and many other complications. Previous studies have found a link between coffee consumption and a lower risk of diabetes.
In this study, the authors compared country-by-country sales data on black tea to national prevalence rates for a variety of conditions, including type 2 diabetes. Statistical analyses demonstrated that rates of this disease are low where people drink the most black tea.
The champion black tea imbibers are the Irish, with the British and the Turks not far behind. The investigators caution that this association does not imply a causative link, and also that population level data may not hold up for individuals. All the same, black tea contains a number of flavonoid compounds such as theaflavins and thearubigins that seem to have health benefits.
[BMJ Open, Nov. 8, 2012]