Green Tea -- Beats Avandia for Diabetes, and No Deadly Side Effects

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

Dr. Mercola's Comments:
It is certainly noteworthy that Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the most powerful catechin found in tea, appears to help diabetes just as much as the disasterous drug Avandia.

Avandia helps sensitize your body to insulin; when it first came on the market, it was considered a breakthrough medication for blood-sugar control. More than six million people have taken the drug in the eight years it has been available.

However, it’s since come out that Avandia causes a 43 percent higher risk of heart attack, and possibly death.

These are hefty risks for a drug designed to treat a disease that is virtually 100 percent curable with SIMPLE lifestyle changes (more on these later).

What is EGCG, and Where Can I Find It?

You’ve probably heard EGCG mentioned in the media, as it’s been getting a lot of positive press recently, but you may not know exactly what it is.

EGCG is a catechin found in green tea. Catechins belong to the polyphenol family (polyphenols in green tea may constitute up to 30 percent of the dry leaf weight), and they’re widely acclaimed for disease prevention and anti-aging purposes. For centuries, catechins have been known to:
  • Neutralize the effects to your body of harmful fats and oils
  • Inhibit bacteria and viruses such as HIV, hepatitis, and herpes
  • Improve digestion
  • Protect against oxidation in your brain and liver
  • Help promote healthy gums
EGCG in particular is a very noteworthy antioxidant; it’s estimated to be 25-100 times more potent than vitamins C and E, and can fight a host of illnesses beyond diabetes, such as:
A recent study even found that EGCG may help to neutralize some of the toxins formed by high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and help to reduce the association between high-fructose corn syrup and diabetes (though the best solution here is obviously to avoid HFCS in the first place).

EGCG is found in high quantities in green tea, and this is a beverage that you can certainly enjoy in moderation.

I say “in moderation” because I still believe that pure water is what you were designed to drink primarily, and once you veer too far from this fluid you can run into severe health problems.

Next to water, though, I believe drinking green tea from 100-percent quality tea leaves is one of the most nutritious beverages you can consume.

When choosing a green tea, be aware that previous research has found high levels of fluoride present in some teas. Fluoride is a toxic substance that can have profoundly negative effects on your body. So if you consume large amounts of green tea for health benefits, you might want to invest some time in researching a brand that is quite low in fluoride.

Have Diabetes? Try THIS Before Avandia

As I said earlier, Avandia has been fraught with dangerous side effects since at least the year 2000, when it was found to play a role in liver failure.

If you have diabetes, medication is not the answer you’re looking for. Knowing which foods to eat, and what exercises to perform, is. Doctors usually talk about diabetes as a disease of blood sugar. However, type 2 diabetes is also a disease of insulin and leptin signaling -- both of which can be corrected through your diet.

So before resorting to drugs for diabetes, I would suggest learning about how food and exercise can be your allies to better health.

My book, Take Control of Your Health, will arm you with everything you need to know to start eating right for your body and taking care of yourself physically and emotionally. I’ve also compiled a comprehensive, free online guide that will educate you on how to make type 2 diabetes finally disappear.
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