Prediabetes and diabetes lead to complications in various organs, including the lungs, with an increased risk of developing pneumonia and other diseases of the lower respiratory tract, as well as asthma. However, a help in these cases can come from an ancient drink that is at the same time very well known and still appreciated today, white tea. This emerges from a recent scientific research published in the journal Molecules by a Portuguese team (Silveira et al, Molecules, 2021).
Prediabetes and diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a condition that is affecting an ever-increasing number of the population. In type 2 diabetes, either the amount of insulin produced is not sufficient or the insulin produced does not act satisfactorily. As a consequence, there is a rise in blood glucose values above 126 mg / dL. Prediabetes is a reversible condition in which blood sugar rises above 99 mg / dL but below 126 mg / dL and is caused by glucose intolerance and / or insulin resistance. In both cases, if the situation of hyperglycemia is not counteracted, there is, in the long term, an increase in oxidative stress by free radicals on the internal organs. The most affected are, generally, eyes, heart, brain and then, later, also the lungs. Free radicals weaken these organs and, in the case of the lungs, can make them more susceptible to infections such as pneumonia. In addition to keeping blood sugar under control, what can be done to counteract radical damage to internal organs? Helpful seem to be particular foods and drinks, such as white tea.
The properties of white tea
White tea is produced, just like other types of tea, black and green, always from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. However, this tea undergoes a different processing. The young buds, in fact, are dried immediately after harvesting, undergoing minimal oxidation, which is greater in green tea and even more in black tea. Precisely this different processing allows white tea to develop very particular beneficial properties. In fact, among all types of tea, white tea contains the highest amount of catechins that give it powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antidiabetic properties.
White tea protects the lungs, the study
To understand the protective action of white tea in the event of high blood sugar levels, the researchers therefore started a study. In this study, the effects of tea on the lungs were analyzed, but it is possible to hypothesize similar properties on the other organs as well. The research was carried out on rodents with elevated blood glucose values. For two months, the researchers gave the rodents white tea. At the end of the study, what emerged was that white tea was able to increase the antioxidant capacity of the lungs, thus putting these organs in the best conditions to combat radical damage but also the possible infections that can result from it.
How to prepare white tea
White tea is a tasty drink that you can also sip in your home. To prepare a good white tea, heat a liter of water up to 70-80° C. Add the tea leaves, about 6 teaspoons, and leave to infuse for ten minutes. So filter and drink! Several organs will benefit, including the lungs!