Drinking tea regularly lowers risk of cardiovascular disease – new study

Green tea in a cup

A recent study has shown that drinking green tea three times a week could prolong people’s life and reduce their risk of having a heart attack or stroke by 25%.

The study which was published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, found that the antioxidants in the drink could help protect the heart and keep people healthier for longer.

A similar study by the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing who monitored the health of 100,902 people who had never had cancer, heart attack or stroke arrived at the same conclusion.

The Chinese researchers tracked the respondent’s health for around seven years and recorded how often they drank tea.

The study considered regular tea drinkers as those who consumed tea three or more times a week. Any less and people were considered non-drinkers.

However, the study did not look specifically at green tea, but only 8% of people in the experiment drank black tea and that had no significant health benefits, the study said.

According to the study, green tea reduced the risk of having heart disease or a stroke, and of dying of either of those conditions, by around 25%.

In the study overall, tea drinkers had a 39% lower risk of either condition over eight years, a 56% lower risk of dying from one of them, and a 29% lower chance of dying during the study.

“Habitual tea consumption is associated with lower risks of cardiovascular disease and all-cause death,” said Dr Xinyan Wang, the study’s author.

“The favourable health effects are the most robust for green tea and for long-term habitual tea drinkers.”

Wang and colleagues said one reason tea could improve people’s health was that it contains polyphenols, a category of around 500 chemicals that contain antioxidants.

Polyphenols are found naturally in fruits and vegetables and are thought to be able to stop or repair cell damage, control sugar levels in the body and slow weight gain.

The Chinese researchers, however, said past evidence has suggested polyphenols can protect against heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

They noted that green tea may be particularly beneficial because it is not fermented like black tea, a process which might make the antioxidants less effective.

A dietitian and spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association, Jodie Relf, said: ‘The researchers do not mention how the tea is consumed or in what form – in China green tea is often consumed as a loose tea and not in teabag form as it is in more westernised cultures; this may change the health-enhancing properties of the tea.

“In China drinking tea is not only about quenching thirst or staying hydrated.

The act of drinking tea involves taking time out of your day to brew the tea and drink it whilst taking time to slow down and bring calmness and serenity to your day.

“This time of calm alongside the health-promoting properties of the tea may be what improves their health by reducing stress levels.”

The researchers said the health benefits may also be dependent on regular drinking to top up polyphenol levels and sticking to teas without any milk added to them.

Relf added: “It’s been thought for years that drinking tea can have a positive impact on our health, however, there is currently not enough evidence to support exactly what compounds in tea elicit these health benefits and exactly what these benefits are.

“What we need to be mindful of is that drinking tea alone is not going to improve our health, it is merely another tool to add to our belts.

“We cannot continue to eat high-fat foods, live a sedentary lifestyle and expect tea to solve all our problems.”

Source: Daily Mail

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