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Oolong tea does not improve glucose metabolism in non-diabetic adults



Studies of the influence of tea on glucose metabolism have produced inconsistent results, possibly because of the lack of dietary control and/or unclear characterization of tea products.


Therefore, a double-blind crossover study was conducted in which healthy males (n=19) consumed each of three oolong tea products or a control beverage as part of a controlled diet. Treatment beverages (1.4 l/day) were consumed for 5 days, followed by assessment of fasting plasma glucose, fasting serum insulin and an oral glucose tolerance test. Tea products included oolong tea, oolong tea with added catechins and oolong tea with added oolong tea polyphenols, and control beverages included caffeinated water and unsupplemented water. On the fifth day of each treatment period, treatment beverages were consumed with a standardized meal, and glucose and insulin responses were assessed for 240 min.


No significant differences were detected for fasting plasma glucose, fasting serum insulin, incremental plasma glucose area under the concentration time curve (AUC), total plasma glucose AUC or total serum insulin AUC.


Neither oolong tea nor oolong tea supplemented with catechins or other polyphenols produced improved glucose metabolism in healthy adult volunteers on the basis of this highly controlled dietary intervention trial.

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Financial support for this study was from the US Department of Agriculture and Suntory Limited. Tea was provided by Suntory Limited.

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Correspondence to D J Baer.

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The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Mention of trade names or commercial products in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the US Department of Agriculture.

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Baer, D., Novotny, J., Harris, G. et al. Oolong tea does not improve glucose metabolism in non-diabetic adults. Eur J Clin Nutr 65, 87–93 (2011).

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  • oolong tea
  • catechin
  • polyphenol
  • diabetes
  • insulin
  • glucose

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