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Cocoa, green tea may help fight diabetes

Cocoa and green tea could be good for diabetic patients. That’s according to a recent study by Brazilian scientists which indicates that cocoa and green tea can help combat the disease because they contain substances that prevent and treat renal (kidney) complications or diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic retinopathy, also known as diabetic eye disease, is when the retina is damaged due to diabetes; it can eventually lead to blindness.

The study, revealed on Wednesday by researchers at the State University of Campinas in Brazil, said that cocoa and green tea can help diminish deaths of podocytes, cells that restrict the passing of proteins into urine and thus preventing kidney failure.

The conclusion was made after trials on rats. By injecting the rats with induced diabetes, the research was carried out on cells from rats and human tissues which were exposed to high concentrations of glucose to simulate diabetes.

It proves that cocoa and green tea contains polyphenols and theobromine that help reduce the effects of diabetes. Theobromine is an alkaloid that activates the nervous system.

Previously, cocoa and green tea have been known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which are beneficial to human health, especially with regard to cardiovascular diseases, inflammation and others.

When the body's blood sugar is abnormally high, it results into diabetes. Although the disease used to be prevalent only among the elderly, young people are increasingly being diagnosed with the disease in recent years due to unhealthy dietary habits.

According to data from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), there are approximately 382 million adult diabetics in the world, with China as the country with most diabetic people.