DRINKING four or more cups of tea per day could lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, research suggests.
A study found that drinking black, green, or oolong tea every day was linked to a 17% lower risk of diabetes over an average of 10 years.
Drinking between one and three cups a day cut the risk by 4%.
The findings, presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes annual meeting in Stockholm, are based on a review of 19 studies involving more than one million people.
They have not yet been peer-reviewed or published in a journal.
Lead author Xiaying Li, from Wuhan University of Science and Technology in China, said: “Our results are exciting because they suggest that people can do something as simple as drinking four cups of tea a day to potentially lessen their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.”
Previous research has found that tea could be beneficial for health, partly because it contains antioxidants and polyphenols, which may protect against disease.
However, to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, experts agree that people should primarily keep their weight in check.
This analysis suggested that each cup of tea per day reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by around 1%.
The findings held true regardless of what type of tea people drank, whether they were male or female and regardless of where they lived.