A compound in green tea, EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), works as well in moderately diabetic mice as GlaxoSmithKline’s diabetes drug Avandia, according to researchers from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute.
In the study, 5-week-old moderately diabetic and severely diabetic mice were fed EGCG or given Avandia. After five and 10 weeks of treatment, the blood sugar and insulin levels of the mice were tested.
Moderately diabetic mice did just as well on the green tea extract as they did on Avandia. Severely diabetic mice did not benefit as much from EGCG.
Researchers said the EGCG, though less potent than Avandia, “exerted changes that were similarly beneficial.”
Upon examining the mice’s pancreases at the end of the study, the researchers found that EGCG preserved insulin-producing tissue and limited damage that could worsen diabetes.
The results suggest that green tea extract supplements may also help treat diabetes in humans.
Worldwide, more than 240 million people have diabetes, and the number may reach 380 million within two decades, according to the International Diabetes Federation.
European Association for the Study of Diabetes meeting in Amsterdam, Netherlands September 19, 2007
The China Post September 21, 2007