That Cup Of Tea You’re Drinking May Help You Live Longer, According To This New Study
Author Henry James once said: “there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea” — a quote I live by. For many of us, there are multiple ceremonies throughout the day: just-woke-up tea; just-showered tea; just-got-to-work tea; just-had-lunch tea and so the list goes on.
Not only is tea the best thing to ever happen to hot (and cold beverages) since… water? But its health benefits extend far and wide. Research over the decades has shown that tea may improve gut health, help reduce blood pressure, improve focus and that it has antioxidant properties.
What else can tea improve?
Now, a new study of over 100 000 participants in China found that people that drank tea regularly were less likely to develop atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and that they were less likely to die prematurely from certain heart-related conditions such as a stroke.
Published in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology, the study highlighted that the benefits were significantly more evident in green tea drinkers (vs black tea) and people that drank at least 3 cups a week consistently.
“Habitual tea consumption is associated with lower risks of cardiovascular disease and all-cause death,” Dr Xinyan Wang, co-author of the study, said in a statement. “The favourable health effects are the most robust for green tea and long-term habitual tea drinkers.”
The numbers. . .
For the study, participants were divided into two groups. The first group included habitual tea drinkers and the second included non-habitual drinkers (less than three times a week). None of the participants had a history of heart attack, stroke or cancer. They were followed up for 7 years and the results were telling.
Researchers found that habitual tea drinkers had a 20% lower risk of stroke, a 22% lower risk of fatal heart disease and a 15% lower risk of all-cause death when compared to non-habitual tea drinkers. The study gave a real-life example of what this would look like.
It explained that a 50-year old habitual tea drinker would only develop coronary heart disease and stroke 1,41 years later and live about 1,26 years longer than a non-habitual tea drinker.
“The protective effects of tea were most pronounced among the consistent habitual tea-drinking group,” Dr Dongfeng Gu, senior author of the study said in a statement. “Mechanism studies have suggested that the main bioactive compounds in tea, namely polyphenols, are not stored in the body long-term. Thus, frequent tea intake over an extended period may be necessary for the cardioprotective effect.”
Dr Gu also mentioned that in the study population, 49% of the habitual tea drinkers consumed mostly green tea and that only 8% preferred black tea. The small number of black tea drinkers made it difficult for the researchers to “observe robust associations” but he believes that their findings do speak to different teas having a different effect.
Playwright Arthur Wing Pinero also once said: “Where there’s tea, there’s hope” and I am in full agreement. If there’s still some space on your vision board for 2020 make sure to add a picture of a cup of tea — who wants to miss out on an extra year of life? Not me.