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Using a research method called meta-analysis, the study authors combines 17 previously published clinical trials on green tea and blood sugar (glucose) metabolism. The studies included a mix of:
All of the studies met specific criteria to ensure high quality, including that:
The 17 studies created a total sample of 1,133 adults, and from this large pool of information (data), the researchers determined that green tea significantly reduced fasting glucose and insulin levels, and lowered hemoglobin A1c values (HbA1c).
HbA1c is a measure of how much glucose is bound to your red blood cells. Compared with glucose levels, which give a snapshot in time of your glucose levels, HbA1c gives an assessment of long-term glucose control.
This study has a lot of strengths, including that it only considered randomized controlled trials, and eliminated other types of tea and dietary supplements that could have contributed to effects on glucose control. There are few downsides to green tea, so if you’re looking for ways to boost your diabetes-prevention plan, regularly sipping this brew is a smart step. And according to the study authors, previous research suggests green tea is most effective in those who already have risk factors for diabetes (such as metabolic syndrome), so take advantage if you are at risk.
Along with maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, taking your medications as prescribed, and avoiding cigarettes:
(Am J Clin Nutr 2013; doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.052746)