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Drinking four or more cups of tea a day reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes.

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It doesn’t matter much what type of tea you drink—black, green or Oolong—or whether you add milk or not, but the key is to drink at least four cups every day.  Drinking less doesn’t seem to protect against diabetes, say researchers from the Wuhan University of Science and Technology in China.

People who drink four or more cups a day have a 17 percent lower risk of diabetes, the researchers said after analysing the results of 19 studies that had looked at the health benefits of tea-drinking in eight countries.  In all, more than a million people took part in the studies, and those who drank between one and three cups of tea a day had a lower diabetes risk of just 4 percent—and with so many other lifestyle variables at play, the benefits shrink almost to zero.

But those who consume far more see a real protective effect, and it could be because of the polyphenols in the tea that reduce blood glucose levels.  But we need enough of them before they are effective, the Wuhan scientists say.

Proceedings from the European Association Study of Diabetes annual meeting, September 18, 2022

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