Health benefits of tea as one cup a day could cut risk of diabetes by a quarter

Morning, breakfast coffee and female hands pouring water in cup from retro kettle in kitchen at home. Woman in pajamas brewing tea or making a beverage on counter to start the day.
Drinking tea can help prevent the risk of diabetes. (Getty Images)

People who drink one cup of tea per day are 28% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who don’t drink tea, a new study has found.

Drinking a daily cuppa also reduced the risk of developing pre-diabetes by 15% as the hot drink increases glucose excretion in urine, which can improve insulin resistance and allow for the body to better control blood sugar.

The study included 1,923 adults living in China. Nearly a quarter (436) of participants had diabetes, 352 had pre-diabetes, and 1,135 had normal blood glucose levels.

"The substantial health benefits of tea, including a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, have been reported in several studies over recent years, but the mechanisms underlying these benefits have been unclear," Associate Professor Tongzhi Wu from Adelaide University said.

"Our findings hint at the protective effects of habitual tea drinking on blood sugar management via increased glucose excretion in urine, improved insulin resistance and thus better control of blood sugar. These benefits were most pronounced among daily dark tea drinkers."

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Dark tea is similar to black tea. It originates from China and is an aged tea that has gone through a secondary fermentation process.

While dark tea isn’t commonly consumed in the UK, regular black tea and herbal teas also contain a slew of benefits.

Improve blood pressure

Both green and black tea are associated with reduced risk of hypertensive and systolic blood pressure, according to a study from 2023.

green tea pours into a cup, glass teapot
Both green and black tea have a slew of health benefits. (Getty Images)

Reduce risk of diabetes

While we now know that black tea can prevent diabetes, so can the consumption of green tea. The polyphenols from green tea can inhibit digestive enzymes like lactase and delay the absorption of sugar.

Improve gut health

Polyphenols, such as those found in tea, are some of best antioxidants in the human diet. These polyphenols are only digested once they reach the large intestine and therefore act as fuel for the good bacteria in our gut.

Reduce cancer risk

One study found that the polyphenols found in black tea can help to prevent the development of various cancers through its antioxidants.

Lower stress and anxiety

Tea contains the amino acid L-theanine which can promote mental health and help individuals who are chronically stressed.

woman drinking tea
Tea can help calm stress and anxiety. (Getty Images)

Support bone health

Studies have shown that green tea in particular can help to prevent against osteoporosis thanks to its bioactive compounds that can mitigate bone loss.

Reduce CVD risk

Green and black tea have also been associated with decreasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) like heart disease or a stroke.

Boost immune system

Studies have proven that tea consumption can improve your metabolic health, boost your immune system and fight off inflammation.

Additional reporting by SWNS.