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Molecular Healing: Drinking Tea and Red Wine can Help Regulate Blood Sugar

Posted Aug 24 2008 7:19pm
Many of us have heard of the health benefits related to heart disease from drinking a glass of red wine. Also, many coffee drinkers have switched to drinking tea for the antioxidant benefits. But did you know that both of these popular drinks can help to regulate blood sugar?

When you eat carbohydrates your body breaks them down into simple sugars like glucose. Some foods are converted to glucose quicker than others. These foods have what is known as a high glycemic index.

Some new research done by food scientists Kalidas Shetty, Young-In Kwon and Emmanouil Apostolidis and published in the Journal of Food Biochemistry show that red wine and some teas help to slow the conversion of carbohydrates to glucose. This helps to stabilize blood sugar.

It turns out that red wine and tea inhibit an enzyme called alpha-glucosidase that works to facilitate the absorption of glucose by the small intestine. Inhibiting this enzyme slows the elevation of blood sugar following a carbohydrate meal.

It appears that inhibition of the enzyme is related to the amount of polyphenols. Polyphenols are found in red wines and teas.

The researchers tested black, oolong, white and green teas. The black tea had the greatest effect of inhibiting the alpha-glucosidase enzyme. This was followed by white tea and oolong tea.

These foods could play an important role in managing diabetes.

Tea in the morning and wine at night!


University of Massachusetts Amherst (2008, April 3). Red Wine, Tea, May Help Regulate Blood Sugar In Type 2 Diabetics, Research Suggests.

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