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Can tea and coffee prevent Type 2 diabetes?

Researchers claim that drinking at least three cups of tea or coffee a day can reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 42 per cent.

The Dutch scientists, from the Julius Centre for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Centre in Utrecht, evaluated questionnaires filled in by 40,000 people. They concluded: “Both coffee and tea consumption were associated with a lowered risk of Type 2 diabetes. Blood pressure and intake of magnesium, potassium and caffeine did not explain these associations."

Instead, it is suggested that the seemingly beneficial effects in tea were probably explained by 'flavonoid antioxidants'.

Diabetes UK's response

Dr James Pickett, Research Officer at Diabetes UK, said: "This is interesting research, however it does not prove that coffee and tea protect against Type 2 diabetes. This is because it is impossible to know what other factors might affect a person's risk of developing the condition.

Lifestyle factors

"The development of Type 2 diabetes is strongly linked to lifestyle, which means that many cases could be prevented. The best way to prevent Type 2 diabetes remains keeping active and eating a healthy balanced diet that is low in fat, salt and sugar with plenty of fruit and vegetables."

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