Greenteahaus:  The Green Tea Reference Library

Green tea on blood sugar levels through modulation on insulin activities

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(1) Kim MJ, Ryu GR, Chung JS, Sim SS, Min do S, Rhie DJ, Yoon SH, Hahn SJ, Kim MS, Jo YH. Protective effects of epicatechin against the toxic effects of streptozotocin on rat pancreatic islets: in vivo and in vitro. Pancreas. 2003 Apr;26(3):292-9.

INTRODUCTION: Green tea catechins have diverse pharmacological effects such as anticarcinogenic and antioxidant activities. AIM: To study the protective effects of green tea (-)-epicatechin (EC) against the toxic effects of streptozotocin (STZ), a selective beta cell toxin, on pancreatic islets in vivo and in vitro. METHODOLOGY: Rats were randomly divided into four groups: control, EC (30 mg/kg)-treated, STZ (60 mg/kg)-treated, and EC plus STZ (same doses; EC+STZ)-treated rats. EC was administered twice a day for 6 days, and a single injection of STZ was used. In EC+STZ-treated rats, EC was administered 6 hours prior to STZ since posttreatment with EC had no beneficial effects on fully developed diabetes in our unpublished study. Insulin and insulin mRNA were detected by immunohistochemical analysis and in situ hybridization, respectively, and physiologic parameters including blood glucose concentration were measured daily. Following isolation of the islets, insulin release, nitrite levels, and islet morphology were observed in the four groups: control, EC (0.8 mM)-treated, STZ (5 mM)-treated, and EC+STZ (same doses)-treated islets. RESULTS: In EC+STZ-treated rats, hyperglycemia and weight loss were not observed and islet morphology was well preserved compared with STZ-treated rats. Compared with STZ treatment alone, insulin release was increased and nitrite production was decreased in EC+STZ-treated islets. CONCLUSION: EC appears to be helpful in protecting pancreatic islets against exposure to STZ in both in vivo and in vitro systems.

(2) M C S, K S, Kuttan R. Anti-diabetic activity of green tea polyphenols and their role in reducing oxidative stress in experimental diabetes. J Ethnopharmacol. 2002 Nov;83(1-2):109-16.

An aqueous solution of green tea polyphenols (GTP) was found to inhibit lipid peroxidation (LP), scavenge hydroxyl and superoxide radicals in vitro. Concentration needed for 50% inhibition of superoxide, hydroxyl and LP radicals were 10, 52.5 and 136 micro g/ml, respectively. Administration of GTP (500 mg/kg b.wt.) to normal rats increased glucose tolerance significantly (P<0.005) at 60 min. GTP was also found to reduce serum glucose level in alloxan diabetic rats significantly at a dose level of 100 mg/kg b.wt. Continued daily administration (15 days) of the extract 50, 100 mg/kg b.wt. produced 29 and 44% reduction in the elevated serum glucose level produced by alloxan administration. Elevated hepatic and renal enzymes produced by alloxan were found to be reduced (P<0.001) by GTP. The serum LP levels which was increased by alloxan and was reduced by significantly (P<0.001) by the administration of 100 mg/kg b.wt. of GTP. Decreased liver glycogen, after alloxan administration showed a significant (P<0.001) increase after GTP treatment. GTP treated group showed increased antioxidant potential as seen from improvements in superoxide dismutase and glutathione levels. However catalase, LP and glutathione peroxidase levels were unchanged. These results indicate that alterations in the glucose utilizing system and oxidation status in rats increased by alloxan were partially reversed by the administration of the glutamate pyruvate transaminase.

(3) Wu LY, Juan CC, Hwang LS, Hsu YP, Ho PH, Ho LT. Green tea supplementation ameliorates insulin resistance and increases glucose transporter IV content in a fructose-fed rat model. Eur J Nutr. 2004 Apr;43(2):116-24. Epub 2004 Jan 06.

BACKGROUND: Sprague-Dawley rats fed a fructose-rich diet exhibit insulin resistance and hypertension, a pathologic status resembling human type II diabetes mellitus, and are an excellent laboratory animal model for research on insulin action and the development of hypertension. Since green tea has numerous beneficial effects, we tested its effect on fructose-fed rats. AIM: The present study was therefore designed to further evaluate the effects of green tea supplementation on insulin resistance, hypertension, and the glucose transporters I and IV contents in adipose tissue in the fructose-fed rat model. METHODS: The animals were divided into three groups and fed for 12 weeks with standard chow and water (control group), a high fructose diet and water (fructose group), or the same high fructose diet, but with green tea (0.5 g of lyophilized green tea powder dissolved in 100 mL of deionized distilled water) instead of water (fructose/green tea group). During the 12 weeks study period, fresh water or green tea was provided daily at 6:00 PM. Blood pressure was measured twice a week, and an oral glucose tolerance test performed after 12 weeks of diet supplementation.At the end of the experiment, plasma triglyceride (TG), free fatty acid (FFA), glucose, and insulin were assayed. The epididymal fat pads from all rats in the same group were pooled and adipocytes isolated and tested for insulin binding, glucose uptake, and their content of glucose transporters I (GLUT I) and IV (GLUT IV). RESULT: Compared to the control group, the fructose group developed fasting hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, and elevated blood pressure. Insulin-stimulated glucose uptake and insulin binding of adipocytes were significantly reduced, and the glucose transporter IV content of adipocytes also decreased. The fructose/green tea group showed improvement in all of these metabolic defects and in insulin resistance and blood pressure. CONCLUSION: Based on these results, we suggest that the amelioration of insulin resistance by green tea is associated with the increased expression of GLUT IV.

(4) Shirai N, Suzuki H Effects of Western, Vegetarian, and Japanese dietary fat model diets with or without green tea extract on the plasma lipids and glucose, and liver lipids in mice. A long-term feeding experiment. Ann Nutr Metab. 2004;48(2):95-102.

BACKGROUND/AIMS: The purpose of this study was to investigate the long-term effects of three model diets containing different fats, with or without a small amount of green tea extract (GTE), on plasma lipids and glucose, and liver lipids in mice. METHODS: Male mice (2 months old) fed 10% fat diets with Western (W), Vegetarian (V), and Japanese (J) fat compositions with or without 0.03% GTE for 7 months. RESULTS: The concentrations of plasma and liver total cholesterol in animals fed the W diet were not significantly different from those fed the J diet. Plasma triacylglycerol (TG) concentrations were significantly different from one another in the following order: V > J > W diet groups. GTE supplementation significantly reduced plasma and liver TG content only in V diet group. Plasma glucose (Glu) concentrations were in the following order: W > V > J diet groups, and the GTE supplementation reduced the concentration of Glu in each diet group. The ratios of plasma n-6 to n-3 fatty acids were in the following order: V > W > J diet groups, regardless of GTE supplementation. CONCLUSION: These findings show the possibility that Japanese eating habits combined with drinking green tea might be a factor in preventing the onset of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

(5) Anderson RA, Polansky MM. Tea enhances insulin activity. J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Nov 20;50(24):7182-6.

The most widely known health benefits of tea relate to the polyphenols as the principal active ingredients in protection against oxidative damage and in antibacterial, antiviral, anticarcinogenic, and antimutagenic activities, but polyphenols in tea may also increase insulin activity. The objective of this study was to determine the insulin-enhancing properties of tea and its components. Tea, as normally consumed, was shown to increase insulin activity >15-fold in vitro in an epididymal fat cell assay. Black, green, and oolong teas but not herbal teas, which are not teas in the traditional sense because they do not contain leaves of Camellia senensis, were all shown to increase insulin activity. High-performance liquid chromatography fractionation of tea extracts utilizing a Waters SymmetryPrep C18 column showed that the majority of the insulin-potentiating activity for green and oolong teas was due to epigallocatechin gallate. For black tea, the activity was present in several regions of the chromatogram corresponding to, in addition to epigallocatechin gallate, tannins, theaflavins, and other undefined compounds. Several known compounds found in tea were shown to enhance insulin with the greatest activity due to epigallocatechin gallate followed by epicatechin gallate, tannins, and theaflavins. Caffeine, catechin, and epicatechin displayed insignificant insulin-enhancing activities. Addition of lemon to the tea did not affect the insulin-potentiating activity. Addition of 5 g of 2% milk per cup decreased the insulin-potentiating activity one-third, and addition of 50 g of milk per cup decreased the insulin-potentiating activity approximately 90%. Nondairy creamers and soy milk also decreased the insulin-enhancing activity. These data demonstrate that tea contains in vitro insulin-enhancing activity and the predominant active ingredient is epigallocatechin gallate.


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