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Research: Regular tea habit cuts risk of heart disease by a fifth

For the tea analysis, the researchers combined data from 113,673 study participants who either drank tea on a regular basis or rarely drank tea.

Time for tea? Image (C) Tim Sandle
Time for tea? Image (C) Tim Sandle

A new meta-study has combined findings from 20 published studies to discover a link between regular long-term tea drinking and a 19 percent reduced risk of dying from heart disease. Cardiovascular disease is a major contributor of premature death worldwide.

Dietitian Dr Carrie Ruxton from the Tea Advisory Panel offers insight into the findings and the benefits of tea.

The analysis, titled “Long-Term Consumption of 6 Different Beverages and Cardiovascular Disease–Related Mortality: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies”, looked at the risk of dying from heart disease when people regularly drank six different beverages over a period of 6-40 years.

The beverage types were sugar-sweetened drinks, artificially sweetened drinks, tea, coffee, 100 percent fruit juice, energy drinks, and alcohol.

From this review, tea came out top for heart health, lowering the risk of death from a heart attack or stroke by 19 percent and benefiting women and men in similar ways.

While coffee drinking reduced mortality risk further – by 37 percent – this was only in men and no beneficial associations were seen in women.

Dietitian Dr Carrie Ruxton, from the Tea Advisory Panel, tells Digital Journal: “The results of this new super study show that tea comes top in terms of protecting our hearts and circulation. Previous studies found similar effects but looked at a single point in time, capturing only a snapshot of drinking behaviour. This new study shows the benefits of starting a long-term tea drinking habit from early adulthood or even childhood”.

For the tea analysis, the researchers combined data from 113,673 study participants who either drank tea on a regular basis or rarely drank tea. Of this group, 3,874 people died from conditions, such as coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease or heart failure during follow up periods ranging from 6-40 years.

When considering what could be behind the heart health benefits of a caffeinated drink, the study’s authors indicated that it could be due to anti-inflammatory, insulin-sensitising, and polyphenol properties, which can help to regulate glucose and cholesterol levels.

In contrast, a higher intake of sugar-sweetened drinks was shown to be related to a 31 percent higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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