New hope for type 2 diabetics may be found lurking in both tea cups and wine glasses alike.
A University of Massachusetts study found that the polyphenols found in both wine and tea have a beneficial effect on alpha-glucosidase-an enzyme responsible for the absorption of glucose in the small intestine.
For the study, researchers looked at four kinds of red and white wine and four types of tea (black, green, white and oolong).
Results showed that red wine inhibited alpha- glucosidase by almost 100 percent.White wine showed only a 20 percent reduction while black tea, the most active of the four teas tested, came in at over 90 percent. White tea and oolong tea came in at a close second and third with 87 and 80 percent respectively.
Many of the more common diabetes treatments are designed to inhibit alpha-glucosidase production, so these findings show great promise for developing a natural solution for people with type 2 diabetes.
Neither wine nor tea had any effect (or only minimal effects) on alpha-amylase levels. Alpha-amylase is an enzyme used in the small intestine to break down starches and is usually inhibited along with alpha- glucosidase by a lot of the more conventional medications. Another key point in favor of this natural approach.
Although these findings are both significant and promising, one obvious limitation is that the study was done in vitro. And although animal and human clinical studies are on the horizon, it'll be quite some time before your doctor prescribes a bottle of merlot to help treat your diabetes.
In the mean time, both tea and red wine get to add another feather in their respective caps for yet another fantastic health benefit!