If you have prediabetes or diabetes, have yourself another cuppa. Of black tea, that is. Drinking the healing brew, which in the past has been linked to health bennies including reduced stroke risk, reduced blood pressure, and reduced production of the stress hormone cortisol, was recently associated with diabetes prevention in a new British Medical Journal (BMJ) study.

When researchers compared consumption of fermented black tea in 50 countries across all continents, they found that countries guzzling the most black tea had lower rates of Type 2 diabetes than countries that drank the least black tea.

A snatch of complex flavonoids are released in the brewing process that turns green tea into black. These flavonoids that develop during the oxidation process (including thearubigins and theaflavins) differ from the flavonoids found in green tea (simple catechins).

It is believed that flavonoids may replenish the beta cells in the pancreas that Type 2 diabetes can wipe out. The current finding supports prior studies, including a 2008 Scottish study in the journal Aging Cell, which concluded that black tea may help fight Type 2 diabetes.

Still, because research findings overall have been mixed, and other research has not found flavonoids to guard against insulin resistance and diabetes, more research is needed. Researchers’ analysis in this latest study showed a mathematical link between black tea and rates of Type 2 diabetes but not a cause-effect relationship.

Among the 50 countries analyzed, the top three in terms of black tea consumption were Ireland, where people down some 4.4 pounds yearly, the UK, and Turkey. Countries drinking the least black tea included Brazil, China, Mexico, Morocco, and South Korea. In Western countries, 90 percent of tea sold is black tea.

How much black tea do You typically drink?