In the UK, we’re not short of excuses when it comes to putting the kettle on to make a cup of tea. Now recent research findings have revealed yet another reason why we can sit back and enjoy drinking tea. According to the findings of a 13 year study, researchers — from the University Medical Centre Utrecht and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in the Netherlands — found that tea drinkers had a significantly lower risk of dying from coronary heart disease (CHD).
The researchers evaluated data from 37,514 participants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-NL) cohort of healthy Dutch men and women. Dietary questionnaires completed upon enrolment provided information on the frequency of coffee and tea consumption. Subjects were followed for an average of 13 years, during which time any cardiovascular events or deaths were documented.
Over the follow-up period, 563 cases of stroke and 1,387 coronary heart disease events were recorded. The results showed that moderate intake of coffee — 2.1 to 3 cups per day — was more protective than low or high amounts of coffee consumption against coronary heart disease events.
However, participants who consumed over 6 cups of tea per day had a 36 per cent lower risk of heart disease compared to those whose intake was less than a cup.
Of 1,405 deaths from any cause, 70 were due to stroke and 123 to coronary heart disease.
While drinking coffee insignificantly reduced the risk of coronary heart disease mortality, for those who consumed between 3 and 6 cups of tea per day, there was a 45 per cent lower risk of dying from the disease. No protective benefits were found with regards to stroke risk.
Commenting on the findings, the researchers said: “High tea consumption is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease mortality. Our results suggest a slight risk reduction for CHD mortality with moderate coffee consumption and strengthens the evidence on the lower risk of CHD with coffee and tea consumption.”
Now, I’m not suggesting that you only rely on consuming cups of tea to help prevent coronary heart disease, but one thing is sure: Drinking a strong cup of steaming hot tea sure beats popping statin drugs every day.
Here's to keeping your heart strong and healthy
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Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, August 2010
Category: Heart Disease