Green tea lowers the blood sugar level.
About 60 years ago, Dr. Minowada of Kyoto University noticed that sugar
in the urine of patients hospitalized for diabetes fell markedly during
periods when they participated in chanoyu (Tea Ceremony). He reported that
powdered tea of the type used in the traditional Tea Ceremony had the capability
of lowering blood sugar. Unfortunately, however, this important report
was ignored due to the outbreak of World War II and the subsequent postwar
food shortages. But the arrival of the gourmet era in recent years in Japan
has led to heightened interest in diabetes and the ability of green tea
to reduce blood sugar.
The sugars and carbohydrate in our food are digested mainly in the duodenum,
converted there to glucose and then absorbed into the blood. The agent
that regulates the intake of blood sugar into the tissues is insulin, a
chemical secreted from Langerhans islets on the pancreas. Diabetes is a
disease characterized by insufficient secretion or improper functioning
of insulin, which hinders the proper absorption of glucose into the tissues
and leads to a high concentration of blood sugar that must eventually be
excreted into the urine. If this high concentration of blood sugar should
continue for a long period, it will affect the vascular system and cause
a number of quite serious diseases including atherosclerosis and retinal
Dr. Hara gave dried green tea catechin in edible form to mice that were
subject to hereditary diabetes and verified a lowering of their blood sugar.
In parallel experiments, Dr. Shimizu gave an extract of green tea to mice
and demonstrated that it had the ability to lower blood sugar . It has
also been shown that the polysaccharides in green tea possess the same
ability. Although these results come from animal tests, the evidence that
green tea catechin and polysaccharides can lower blood sugar In mice may
also, in light of Dr. Minowada's old report, apply to humans.