Boston, MA (PRWEB) November 22, 2012
Doctors Health Press, a division of Lombardi Publishing Corporation, and publisher of various natural health newsletters, books, and reports, including the popular online Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin, is reporting on a recent study showing that green tea may have an added benefit not thoroughly investigated before: controlling blood sugar levels.
As Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin (http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/food-and-nutrition-articles/cancer-fighting-drink-may-also-help-control-blood-sugar) notes, while the participants in the study were mice, the results may have found that green tea could help pave the way for new diet strategies for humans. The active ingredient is green tea’s famous and powerful antioxidant, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).
As the article “Cancer-Fighting Drink May Also Help Control Blood Sugar” reports, in the study conducted at Penn State University, EGCG was found to help reduce blood sugar spikes. Half the study’s mice were fed the equivalent of about one and a half cups of green tea per day. It led to a significant reduction in blood sugar rises, compared to mice not fed the natural compound. The spikes in blood sugar in the mice fed EGCG were about 50% lower than those without.
According to the Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin article, the researchers found that EGCG was most effective when fed along with cornstarch. The experiment suggests that green tea could help humans control the typical blood sugar increases that are brought on when we eat starchy foods.
The article suggests that the reason for the starch–green tea link may have to do with the way starch is converted into sugar in human and mouse digestive tracts. An enzyme called “alpha-amylase,” produced in both the mouth and the pancreas, helps break down starch. EGCG may inhibit the enzyme’s ability to break down the starch, as the researchers also found that EGCG reduced the activity of alpha-amylase in the pancreas by 34%.
Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin suggests that people who want to limit the blood sugar spike should not add sugar to their green tea. Doing so might negate the effect that the green tea will have on limiting the rise in the blood glucose level. It is also important to note that green tea and the starch need to be consumed simultaneously for any positive effect to occur. For example, drinking a cup of tea an hour after eating a bagel probably would not alter the blood sugar spike.
(SOURCE: Forester, S., et al., “Inhibition of starch digestion by the green tea polyphenol, (−)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate,” Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 2012; 56(11): 1,647.)
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