Drinking three cups of tea a day can cut the risk of diabetes, according to a growing body of scientific research.
A new study from researchers in the US found that black tea inhibits the body from absorbing glucose sugars, too much of which can cause type-2 diabetes.
The researchers, who brewed the tea under laboratory conditions, said tea could help control diabetes in humans.
“Our findings suggest that black tea and black tea pomace has potential for carbohydrate hydrolyzing enzyme inhibition and this activity depends on high molecular weight phenolic compounds,” the authors of the paper wrote.
The research, which was conducted by researchers at Framingham State University in the United States, builds on work done by Japanese scientists two decades earlier.
A 1995 study from the Hokkaido Pharmaceutical University School of Pharmacy found that black tea has what scientists call “anti-hyperglycaemic effects”.
The study found that rats had “significantly” reduced levels of blood glocuse and that black tea could both prevent and cure rats with diabetes.
“The study reveals that, like green tea, black tea also possesses antidiabetic activity,” the researchers found.
According to NHS statistics there are approximately 3.1 million adults with diabetes in the UK, with the number expected to rise of 4.6 million by 2030.
90 per cent of those suffering from the condition have type 2 diabetes, which is affect by black tea consumption.
Health officials say the increased level in type 2 diabetes is due to increasing level of obesity, a lack of exercise and unhealthy diets.
One study funded by pharmaceutical companies and carried out by the York Health Economic Consortium found that the cost of the direct treatment of diabetes to the NHS would increase from £9.8 billion to £16.9 billion over the next 25 years.