Drinking black tea could help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to new research published in the journal BMJ Open.
For the study a team of researchers from the mathematical research group Data Mining International in Geneva, Switzerland, analysed prevalence of various health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, in relation to black tea consumption in 50 countries.
Using a complex statistical model, they found that type 2 diabetes rates were lowest in countries where people drank the most black tea . This association was not seen for any of the other conditions.
Topping the table for highest tea consumption was Ireland, where the average person drinks more than 2 kg of black tea per year, followed by the UK Turkey. Consumption was lowest in South Korea, Brazil, and China.
Lead author of the study Dr Ariel Beresniak said the findings “are consistent with previous biological, physiological, and ecological studies conducted on the potential of [black tea] on diabetes and obesity”, and provide “valuable additional scientific information at the global level”.
However, he added that a “significant linear correlation” between tea drinking and incidence of type 2 diabetes does not imply a cause and effect relationship.
Previous studies examining the health benefits of green tea have shown that it is rich in compounds known as flavanoids, which can help prevent diabetes due to their anti-inflammatory properties.
Researchers believe the anti-diabetes effect of black tea is caused by a range of more complex flavonoids, which are induced by the fermentation process that turns green tea black.

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