Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease that is rapidly increasing and has become a major
public health problem. Type 2 DM (T2DM) is the most common type, accounting for up to 90-95% of the
new diagnosed DM cases. The brain is very susceptible to glucose fluctuations and hyperglycemia-induced
oxidative stress (OS). It is well known that DM and the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases are
associated. Tea, Camellia sinensis L., is one of the most consumed beverages. It contains several phytochemicals, such as
polyphenols, methylxanthines (mainly caffeine) and L-theanine that are often reported to be responsible for tea’s health benefits,
including in brain. Tea phytochemicals have been reported to be responsible for tea’s significant antidiabetic and
neuroprotective properties and antioxidant potential. Epidemiological studies have shown that regular consumption of tea
has positive effects on DM-caused complications and protects the brain against oxidative damage, contributing to an
improvement of the cognitive function. Among the several reported benefits of tea consumption, those related with
neurodegenerative diseases are of great interest. Herein, we discuss the potential beneficial effects of tea consumption and
tea phytochemicals on DM and how their action can counteract the severe brain damage induced by this disease.
Keywords: Brain, caffeine, catechins, diabetes mellitus, L-theanine, tea.
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