Prospective cohort studies have described an association between coffee or tea consumption and the risk of developing diabetes. However, whether coffee or tea improves glucose metabolism remains uncertain. We investigated the effect of coffee and tea on glucose metabolism by conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Electronic databases were searched for articles published up 19 February 2017. The primary endpoint was the mean difference in post-intervention fasting blood glucose (FBG) levels between the groups. Of 892 citations screened, 27 studies (1898 participants) were included in our meta-analysis. A network meta-analysis suggested that green tea, but not caffeinated/decaffeinated coffee or black tea, may reduce FBG levels, compared with placebo/water (−2.10 mg/dL; 95% confidence interval (CI), −3.96 to −0.24 mg/dL; p
= 0.03; moderate quality of evidence). In a subgroup analysis, the effect of green tea on FBG levels was statistically significant only in studies with a mean age of < 55-years-old or Asian-based studies. The oolong tea group also showed a significant decrease in FBG, but the quality of evidence was very low. In conclusion, green tea consumption might decrease FBG levels, especially in < 55-year-olds or Asian-based populations.
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