Diabetes is a serious, and usually lifelong condition that causes your blood sugar levels to become too high.
Having high blood sugar levels is dangerous and can cause permanent damage to parts of the body including the eyes, nerves, kidneys and blood vessels if left untreated for years.
Therefore, it is especially important for diabetic to keep their blood sugar – also known as blood glucose – levels low.
Diet is one such way to do so, with type 2 diabetics told specifically to keep sugar, fat and salt to a minimum.
However, there is one drink that could also help manage blood sugar levels.
According to chemist Tim Bond, from the Tea Advisory Panel, rooibos tea could benefit diabetics.
Rooibos tea is a herbal tea, not related to black or green tea. Hailing from South Africa, the red-brown coloured tea is more commonly known as redbush tea in the UK.
Mr Bond explained: “Good news for diabetics. Rooibos tea contains a range of antioxidants including aspalathin, which may help to reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
“A study by the Tea Advisory Panel revealed fasting blood glucose was more stable in the instances that rooibos was consumed.
“We need sugars; they’re part of our metabolism, but excess sugar means the spike in blood glucose triggers insulin production which helps shunt the sugars off to be stored.
“An indication in how resistant the body is to insulin and insulin spikes, is fasting blood glucose.”
What does the research say?
The paper referenced by Mr Bond considered seven human trials and 49 lab studies.
It concluded that drinking the tea had multiple health benefits including improved glycaemic control (the optimal serum sugar levels in diabetics).
It said: “Overall rooibos tea consumption seems to benefit the lipid and redox profiles of those at risk of cardiovascular disease.
“It also appears to possess other promising ‘general’ effects on glycaemic control, bone, liver, cognitive and respiratory health.”
A separate study, published in Molecules journal in 2018, reported promising results in rodents with diabetes.
“The present meta-analyses demonstrated that blood glucose levels were significantly reduced in diabetic rodent models treated with PPAG, a rooibos-associated phenolic compound.
“Finally, it would have a profound impact on an increasing number of pre-diabetic patients worldwide, in particular, if herbal teas such as rooibos could be developed as natural nutraceuticals for prevention or delayed onset of diabetes.”
However, it did warn: “Some sporadic case studies reported severe yet reversible adverse effects of rooibos tea on liver in humans.
“Thus, further clinical studies would be needed to establish the safe and practical use of the rooibos tea for prevention and treatment of diabetes and its associated complications in humans in the future.”
Common symptoms of diabetes include:
- Feeling very thirsty
- Peeing more frequently than usual, particularly at night
- Feeling very tired
- Weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
- Itching around the penis or vagina, or frequent episodes of thrush
- Blurred vision.
If you experience symptoms you should speak to your GP.
Post source: Daily Express