Drinking green tea, rather than black, "may help you live longer"

Henrietta Brewer
January 11, 2020

DRINKING AT least three cups of tea a week could be the secret to a longer and healthier life, a new study claims. They found that habitual tea drinkers had a life expectancy 1.2 years longer and had 1.4 years longer of being heart-disease free.

Routine tea consumption was related to extra wholesome years of life and longer life expectancy. When compared to non-habitual tea drinkers, or those who never drink tea, habitual drinkers had a hazard ratio of 0.80 (0.75 to 0.87) for ASCVD incidence, 0.78 (0.69 to 0.88) for ASCSVD mortality, and 0.85 (0.79 to 0.90) for all-cause mortality, respectively.

The potential influence of changes in tea drinking behaviour were analysed in a subset of 14,081 participants. They conducted two surveys with an average of 8.2 years duration between the two.

Senior author Dr. Dongfeng Gu, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, said: "The protective effects of tea were most pronounced among the consistent habitual tea drinking group. Thus, frequent tea intake over an extended period may be necessary for the cardioprotective effect", said Gu. However, it is increasingly acknowledged that tea contains polyphenols and other metabolites that may decrease the risk of developing diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and arthritis.A new study by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences aimed to investigate the associations of tea consumption with the risk of atherosclerotic CVD and all-cause mortality.

In keeping with the researchers, two components could also be at play.

The fact that green tea is a rich source of polyphenols is one proposed explanation for the findings. On the contrary, black tea is fully fermented and during this process polyphenols are oxidised into pigments and may lose their antioxidant effects.

That said, a number of studies across different countries have now found health benefits among green-tea drinkers, according to Linsenmeyer.

Drinking tea has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, as well a "longer and healthier life" in a study. Tea or masala chai is a traditional Indian beverage which is consumed by almost everyone or at least someone in families.

And sticking to the habit of drinking tea appeared to boost health.

Ray further cautioned that the consistent tea drinkers in the study tended to be older men who were heavy smokers and heavy drinkers. Anything more than this amount can do more harm than good.

Men in the study saw more benefits than women, namely because a higher percentage of habitual tea drinkers were men. The team was led by Dr. Xinyan Wang, of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, in Beijing. Routine tea drinkers who maintained their behavior in each surveys had a 39 per cent decrease danger of incident coronary heart illness and stroke, 56 per cent decrease danger of deadly coronary heart illness and stroke, and 29 per cent decreased danger of all-cause demise in comparison with constant by no means or non-habitual tea drinkers. They also suggested that as black tea is often served with milk, it may counteract the favourable health effects of tea on vascular function. "These differences made it more likely to find statistically significant results among men", Wang said. Information on tea consumption was collected through standardized questionnaires. Current pharmaceutical design, 19 (34), 6141-6147. doi:10.2174/1381612811319340008.

The findings were published online January 9 in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

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