Green tea and white tea are health elixirs, as is known and as more and more scientific research shows, but there are also other types of tea that are important, too. Like dark teas, among which Pu'er tea stands out. In fact, as proven by very recent scientific research that appeared in the journal Nutrients and published by a team of Chinese scientists, these teas develop substances capable of counteracting insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and the accumulation of fat in the liver (Liu et al, Nutrients, 2023).
Type 2 diabetes, what it is and treatment
Type 2 diabetes is typical adult diabetes and is a constantly growing condition. In type 2 diabetes, the insulin produced by the pancreas is either not sufficient or not effective in allowing the body's cells to use glucose. As a result, there is an increase in blood sugar. Especially at the beginning, the advice of doctors is always to avoid drugs but to make lifestyle changes as often the medicines taken, especially in the long term, can cause side effects. And also because type 2 diabetes is generally a consequence of incorrect habits, such as a sedentary lifestyle and an unbalanced diet. Hence the need to find foods and drinks that can help to combat type 2 diabetes and the condition that is its antechamber, which is insulin resistance. The Chinese research scientists have focused their attention on dark teas, which are teas obtained from the Camellia sinensis plant, as well as green and white tea, but which undergo a fermentation process.
Pu'er tea against diabetes and fatty liver, the study
The study took place in the laboratory where scientists placed human cells with insulin resistance in contact with the active ingredient of Pu'er tea, theabrownin or TB. Theabrownin develops in Pu'er tea following the fermentation process to which the tea is subjected and is a phenolic compound with antioxidant properties. What has been observed is that theabrownin has made it possible to counteract insulin resistance, improving the functionality of the mitochondria, which are cellular organelles responsible for the production of energy from glucose, and reducing free radicals. Not only that, it has also been observed that teas that undergo longer fermentation processes achieve these goals even more effectively than teas that undergo shorter fermentation periods. In addition to the benefits with regard to type 2 diabetes, the active ingredient in Pu'er tea also made it possible to reduce the accumulation of fat in the liver, thus reducing the risk of fatty liver disease.
Drinking tea, all types of tea, really has a beneficial effect on health. Today we have seen that teas called dark and fermented after the manufacturing process, such as Pu'er tea, protect the liver from fatty liver disease and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, by improving the use of glucose by the cells of the body. Added to this are other properties of dark teas, such as the prebiotic action, useful for supporting the intestinal microbiota, but also the anti-obesity effect. In fact, dark tea was the best, compared to other varieties of tea, when looking for help to lose weight in case of overweight and obesity and keep circulating lipids under control.
Pu'er tea, how to prepare it
Pu'er tea is prepared by infusing a teaspoon of tea leaves in a cup of boiling water. Cover with the lid and let it rest for 3 to 5 minutes, you can refer to the instructions on the package. Then filter, let it cool down a bit and drink. Pu'er tea is probably the best known among all the dark teas, but there are also others, which you can find in the best specialized shops such as Liubao tea, Kangzhuan tea or Fuzhuan tea.