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Drinking lots of tea can slash risk of this

The findings applied to black, green or oolong varieties of tea.

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By Mark Waghorn via SWNS

Drinking tea can slash the risk of diabetes by almost a fifth, according to new research.

People who down at least four mugs a day are 17 percent less likely to develop the disease, suggests the study.

The worldwide project tracked more than a million participants for an average of ten years.

Tea is packed with flavonoids. The naturally occurring chemicals mimic antioxidants - destroying harmful free radicals.

Lead author Dr. Xiaying Li, of Wuhan University, China, described the results as "exciting."

She said: "They suggest people can do something as simple as drinking four cups of tea a day to potentially lessen their risk of developing type 2 diabetes."

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It is caused by unhealthy lifestyles. More than 37 million Americans have diabetes (about 1 in 10), and approximately 90-95% of them have type 2 diabetes, according to the CDC.

The findings applied to black, green or oolong varieties. The team pooled data from 19 studies involving 1,076,311 volunteers in eight countries.

Drinking one to three cups a day lowered diabetes risk by four percent - rising to 17 percent among those who managed four or more.

Tea's health benefits are long established. It boosts immunity, helping fight off cancer, Alzheimer's and cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

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But its relationship with diabetes has been less clear with previous analyses reporting inconsistent results.

The reason could be quite large intakes are required. Some experts say tea is better for us than water.

Dr. Li said: "Our findings suggest drinking tea is beneficial in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, but only at high doses - at least four cups a day.

"It's possible particular components - such as polyphenols - reduce blood glucose. A sufficient amount of these bioactive compounds may be needed to be effective."

The phenomenon stood regardless of gender, geography, or tea type, suggesting the amount consumed plays a major role rather than any other factor.

A much smaller study of over 5,000 Chinese adults followed for 12 years found tea lovers had the same risk of diabetes as non-drinkers.

Dr. Li added: "It may also explain why we did not find an association between tea drinking and type 2 diabetes in our cohort study - because we did not look at higher tea consumption.

"More research needs to be done to determine the exact dosage and mechanisms behind these observations."

In the UK tea is most popular beverage with over 100 million cups consumed every day, around 36 billion a year.

In April, it was hailed as 'the world's greatest health drink' at a virtual medical conference in the US.

Scientists said two to four cups a day reduced the risk of a host of serious illnesses - with more providing few additional bonuses.

Dr. Li presented the findings at a meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Stockholm, Sweden.

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