Originally published December 2 2008
Green Tea Benefits Type 1 Diabetes and Sjogren’s Syndrome
by Reuben Chow
(NaturalNews) With its wide-ranging and well-known array of health benefits, green tea is becoming ever more popular as a daily beverage. And a recent study carried out on mice at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta has found that a compound present in green tea could slow down or even prevent type 1 diabetes. It also lowered the severity and slowed the progress of Sjogren's syndrome.
Type 1 diabetes also goes by the names "childhood-onset diabetes" or "insulin-dependent diabetes". It occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce the insulin which the body needs to control glucose levels. On the other hand, type 2 diabetes, or "adult-onset diabetes" or "non-insulin-dependent diabetes", occurs when the body is unable to properly utilize the insulin produced by the pancreas.
According to the National Institutes of Health, some 7.8% of the United States population, or 23.6 million people, were estimated to have diabetes in 2007. Of these, 5.7 million cases were undiagnosed. It adds that type 1 diabetes usually affects children and young adults, although it can also occur at any age. It is estimated that 5 to 10% of adult diagnoses of diabetes are type 1, and risk factors for the disease "may be autoimmune, genetic, or environmental".
About Green Tea
Green tea contains various compounds such as minerals, volatile oils and vitamins. But it is the polyphenols in green tea, in particular a catechin called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which are believed to provide much of the beverage's health-promoting effects.
Indeed, green tea has been shown in some studies to help lower total cholesterol levels, promote cardiovascular health, reduce risk of dental caries, stimulate the immune system, fight bacteria, as well as prevent and even inhibit certain types of cancer.
Details of Study
In the said study, a research team led by Dr Stephen D Hsu tested the effects of EGCG for its effects against type 1 diabetes in mice. On top of that, mice with Sjogren's syndrome were also tested. Sjogren's syndrome is an autoimmune disease which attacks the saliva and tear-producing glands, thereby causing symptoms such as overly dry eyes and mouth. There is no known cure for the syndrome under conventional medicine.
The EGCG groups of mice were given water containing 0.2% of the compound, while the control groups were given plain water.
Findings of Study
Dr Hsu and his team found that EGCG helped with both conditions. For Sjogren's syndrome, EGCG helped to reduce the severity of symptoms, as well as slowed the salivary gland damage which eventually results from the condition. It was also discovered that salivary gland cells under self-attack by the body were multiplying very quickly, but EGCG helped to slow things down.
Similar results were obtained for type 1 diabetes. After 16 weeks, 67% of the mice which were only fed water had developed diabetes. In huge contrast, only 25% of the mice which had taken EGCG had gotten the disease. 6 weeks later, at the 22-week mark, the figures had become 78% and 45% respectively.
"Our study focused on Sjogren's syndrome, so learning that EGCG also can prevent and delay insulin-dependent type 1 diabetes was a big surprise," Dr Hsu said in a statement.
The study team felt that the results for type 1 diabetes and Sjogren's syndrome were similar because they are both autoimmune disorders, which cause the body to attack itself. And previous research had shown EGCG's ability to help prevent autoimmune diseases.
Going forward, more research, especially on humans, in the prevention of these two diseases will surely get underway. In the meantime, a couple of cups of green tea a day will probably go some way in improving your health in various ways.
Drink Away Your Diabetes Risk with Green Tea
About the authorReuben Chow has a keen interest in natural health and healing as well as personal growth. His website, All 4 Natural Health, offers a basic guide on natural health information. It details simple, effective and natural ways, such as the use of nutrition, various herbs, herb remedies, supplements and other natural remedies, to deal with various health conditions as well as to attain good health. His other websites also cover topics such as depression help, omega 3 fatty acids, as well as cancer research and information.
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