Intake of at least three cups of tea every day can reduce the risk of diabetes by almost half, concludes a new study To reach the conclusion, researchers studied more than 40,000 people whose consumption was monitored for 10 years. After analyses, boffins discovered that chemicals found in all types of tea cut the dangers of developing type 2*diabetes by 42 per cent. Drinking more than three cups did not reduce the risk any further, reports The Daily Express. The study was carried out by a team of Dutch researchers from the University Medical Centre in Utrecht. The team concluded: "Consumption of at least three cups of tea and/or coffee was associated with a lowered risk of type 2 diabetes. Blood pressure and intake of magnesium, potassium and caffeine did not explain these associations." Instead, the beneficial effects in tea were probably explained by "flavonoid antioxidants" which are found in every cup. Dr Carrie Ruxton, of Britain''s Tea Advisory Panel, said: "The study did not distinguish between black and green tea, but 95 per cent of tea drunk in the Netherlands is black tea, that is regular tea. The results remained the same even when the researchers accounted for other factors which might have influenced diabetes risk, such as body mass index, blood pressure, caffeine, dietary magnesium and potassium. "This suggests that ingredients other than caffeine, magnesium and potassium (all found in tea) could be causing the beneficial effect. Likely candidates are the flavonoid antioxidants found in tea which are known to protect body cells from damage."