Butterfly pea flower tea, glucose & insulin | A health food or... an ergogenic insulin booster?
Perhaps an extract of blue tea mitigates the negative health effects of carbohydrates. Or perhaps the consequences of the human study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine by Charoonsri Chusak go even further - and blue tea makes the body rely less on insulin to get glucose into the cells.
In 2018, researchers from Thailand's Chulalongkorn University published a human study in which they got 15 healthy young men to drink 400 milliliters of fluids on 5 different occasions.
One time this liquid contained 50 grams of water and sugar, two other times 1 or 2 grams of blue tea extract and two other times 50 grams of sugar plus 1 or 2 grams of blue tea extract.
During the first two hours after ingestion, the researchers analyzed the subjects' blood.
The researchers made their water-based extracts themselves from flowers of the butterfly pea or Clitoria ternatea. These flowers are used as a blue food coloring, but also as a health food. They contain phenols that kill micro-organisms in vitro and neutralize free radicals and accelerate learning processes in animal studies. [Appl. Sci. 2023;13(4)2134.]
In combination with sugar, blue tea extract reduced the rise in both glucose and insulin levels. Sugar increased the concentration of free radicals [MDA] and reduced the activity of antioxidants in blood [ORAC], but blue tea extract also put a stop to that.
"Future research will concentrate on how Clitoria ternatea flower extract may be used to modulate glycemia when co-ingested with complex carbohydrates such as white rice and bread", write the researchers.
"Any positive results that emerge from such studies will enable us to provide a public health advocacy on how such simple food based interventions may be used in our war against diabetes."
BMC Complement Altern Med. 2018 Jan 8;18(1):6.
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Insulin & Glucose Metabolism