Black tea decreases postprandial blood glucose levels in healthy humans and contains high-molecular-weight polyphenols that inhibit α-glucosidase and α-amylase in vitro: a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial
Background: To prevent diabetes, it is important to control postprandial glycemic levels. Studies have suggested that consuming black tea decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes; however, only a few studies have examined the effects of black tea on postprandial glycemic control after consuming starch-rich foods. In addition, the mechanism underlying the suppression of postprandial glucose levels remains unclear.
Objective: To investigate the effects of black tea on postprandial blood glucose levels in healthy humans and to identify the components of black tea that inhibit digestive enzymes.
Methods: The inhibitory activity of black tea on digestive enzymes was measured, and the inhibitory components were fractionated. Healthy Japanese adults ingested 200 ml of black tea, and its effect on postprandial blood glucose and insulin levels were investigated.
Results: Black tea dose-dependently inhibited α-glucosidase, sucrase, and α-amylase activity. The major components responsible for this inhibition were high–molecular-weight polyphenols. The galloyl moieties present in these compounds play an important role in their inhibitory activities. Two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover studies of healthy human subjects (total n = 46) were conducted to investigate the effect of black tea on blood glucose and insulin levels. Combined data from the two studies showed that black tea ingestion (200 mL) after cooked rice intake (200 g) significantly reduced the incremental area under the curve of glucose (P =.024) and insulin (P =.014) compared to placebo drink.
Conclusions: The high–molecular-weight polyphenols in black tea inhibited α-glucosidase, sucrase, and α-amylase activity in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, black tea ingestion after eating cooked rice significantly reduced the incremental area under the curve of glucose and insulin. These effects of black tea could be attributed to the inhibition of digestive enzymes by high–molecular-weight polyphenols containing galloyl groups.
Keywords: black tea, blood glucose, α-glucosidase, α-amylase, polyphenol
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