Green tea drinkers are likely to live longer - study

The protective effects of tea were most evident among consistent tea guzzlers.
The protective effects of tea were most evident among consistent tea guzzlers. Photo credit: Getty.

Regular green tea drinkers are likely to live longer, according to a new study

The study, published in the journal of the European Society of Cardiology, says drinking tea at least three times a week is linked to a longer and healthier life.

"Habitual tea consumption is associated with lower risks of cardiovascular disease and all-cause death," said first author Dr Xinyan Wang, from the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.

The study found that drinking green tea was linked with approximately 25 percent lower risks for incidents of heart disease and stroke, fatal heart disease and stroke, and all-cause of death. 

The research looked at 100,902 participants of the China-PAR project2 with no history of heart attack, stroke, or cancer.

Participants were placed into two groups: habitual tea drinkers who consume tea three or more times a week and non-habitual tea drinkers who drink less than three times a week and followed-up for a median of 7.3 years.

Compared with non-habitual tea drinkers, regular tea consumers had a 20 percent lower risk of incidents of heart disease and stroke, 22 percent lower risk of fatal heart disease and stroke, and a fifteen percent decreased risk of all-cause death.

Habitual tea drinkers who maintained their habit in both surveys had a 39 percent lower risk of incidents of heart disease and stroke, 56 percent lower risk of fatal heart disease and stroke, and 29 percent decreased risk of all-cause death compared to consistent never or non-habitual tea drinkers.

The study found that men were more affected than women as 48 percent of men were habitual tea drinkers compared to 20 percent of women.

It also found that habitual tea drinkers were more likely to be men, smokers, and alcohol drinkers.

The protective effects of tea were most evident among consistent tea guzzlers. 

Studies have stated that a compound in green tea, called polyphenols, are not stored in the body long-term. This means frequent tea intake over an extended period may be necessary for the cardioprotective effect.

"Green tea is a rich source of polyphenols which protect against cardiovascular disease and its risk factors including high blood pressure and dyslipidaemia," the study says. 

Despite the healthy effects of green tea, no significant associations were observed for black tea.

"Black tea is fully fermented and during this process, polyphenols are oxidised into pigments and may lose their antioxidant effects." 

The study also added that as black tea is served with milk, previous research has shown it may counteract the favourable health effects of tea.

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