UKZN PhD graduate Xin Xiao identifies tea as attainable therapy for diabetes


By Jehran Naidoo 15m ago

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DURBAN – A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa (UKZN) has figured out how tea can be used to treat diabetes.

Dr. Xin Xiao, a Chinese national with a PhD in biochemistry, has observed the antioxidant and antidiabetic potential of five different tea brands domiciled in his country and South Africa for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, UKZN said in a statement Thursday.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the hormone insulin is not used effectively by the body’s cells. Insulin is used to convert sugar in the bloodstream into energy.

According to an article published in the South African Medical Journal, the International Diabetes Federation reported in 2019 that an estimated 4.5 million adults are living with diabetes in South Africa.

The African continent was expected to see the highest increase in diabetes in the world by 2045.

“Diabetes mellitus is one of the global epidemics of the 21st century,” said Xin of the UKZN statement.

“The effectiveness of Chinese teas and South African teas in the treatment and management of type 2 diabetes have been reported. Given the demand for alternative therapies due to the deficiencies in synthetic anti-diabetic drugs, there is a need for more research into teas. “

Interest in using tea to treat diabetes came after Xin’s father was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes ten years ago, which gave him insight into the difficulty of treating such a disease.

He was admitted to the UKZN from 2014 to 2017 as a Chinese teacher at the Confucius Institute of the Technical University of Durban.

“At that time, I was also looking for an available PhD position and happened to know that Professor Shahidul Islam was working on type 2 diabetes, which is exactly the research area I was interested in,” Xin said.

“I wanted to do something good for my father and others with diabetes like him.”

The results from Xin’s research suggest promising anti-T2D properties that aid the use of functional foods in treating the disease, Professor Islam said.

“This research will help diabetics choose improved anti-diabetic teas and develop tea-based supplements,” he added.

Xin has since returned to China to continue his research on tea and human health.

“Hopefully this will help people better manage their health in China and South Africa. I love South Africa, I love UKZN. Thank you for making my dreams come true and making me wonderful memories, ”he said.

– African news agency