August 17, 2011

Why diabetics must drink green tea

In the past, I’ve told you that Alzheimer’s is actually a type of diabetes (type-3). Back in 2009, I showed how researchers have found that insulin reduces the build-up of plaque in the brain. This plaque is beta amyloid and it’s largely responsible for Alzheimer’s. What’s more, your brain actually produces insulin. How much insulin your brain makes determines how much plaque builds up. If your brain makes less insulin, or its insulin receptors become diminished (insulin resistance) more plaque builds up.  Investigators believe that this can raise your Alzheimer’s risk.

Well, the research in this area continues to expand. And the newest research suggests my favorite beverage may be part of the solution.

If you’ve read my reports for very long, you may know that green tea is great for cognitive function. Now a study ties all this together and shows that green tea is a must for anyone with diabetes or any type of dementia.

In this mouse study, researchers found that ECGC, the key flavonoid in green tea, protects insulin-producing cells.

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The researchers selected mice with elevated blood glucose levels. At 32 weeks of age (still rather early in life), they evaluated the mice to see if they were developing autoimmune destruction of pancreatic islet cells. These cells make your insulin.

Of the mice that received ECGC, 75% had properly functioning islet cells and healthy blood glucose levels. Only 33.3% of controls (not fed ECGC) retained healthy islet cells and glucose levels.

In addition, the ECGC mice had consistently higher plasma insulin levels, increased survival rates, and lower glycosylated hemoglobin levels compared to the mice in the control group. The latter is hemoglobin A1c, a marker for high blood-glucose damage. The ECGC group also had increased levels of a most important anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10.

The researchers concluded that ECGC might be a novel plant-derived compound that protects insulin-producing cells. This will help keep blood glucose levels in a healthy range.

Asian cultures have been drinking green tea for centuries. They don’t have nearly the rate of diabetes or Alzheimer’s that we have. There is a strong connection. Your brain actually produces insulin. Green tea may have the same effect on your brain that it has on your pancreas. I’ve reported how green tea specifically protects your brain from the neurotoxic free radical peroxynitrite. So make sure you’re drinking plenty of green tea. It can help prevent and treat diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

If you don’t like the taste of green tea, you can get the same protection from Advanced Bionutritionals Green Tea Extract.

Ref: Fu Z, Zhen W, Yuskavage J, Liu D. Epigallocatechin gallate delays the onset of type 1 diabetes in spontaneous non-obese diabetic mice. Br J Nutr. 2010 Dec;9:1-8.

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