The tea contains an antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is as effective as Avandia in those with moderate diabetes.
It's been tested against Avandia on a group of mice with diabetes, and the mice that were fed EGCG were just as able to tolerate sugar and produce insulin as the mice given Avandia. At the end of the 10-week trial, the green tea extract preserved insulin-producing tissue and gave other protective effects in the pancreas.
The new study, prepared by researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, confirms what we've known for a long time. Green tea was first mooted as a successful treatment for diabetes 70 years ago, and recent studies among humans have found that the more green tea you drink, the better. The most powerful benefits have been among people who drink up to six cups of the tea every day.
(Source: European Association for the Study of Diabetes, Amsterdam, 19 September 2007).