How drinking tea daily could lower your risk of heart disease by 19%

In a groundbreaking meta-analysis pooling data from 20 studies, researchers have unveiled a significant connection between long-term tea consumption and a 19% decrease in the risk of succumbing to heart disease [1].

Heart disease, responsible for a staggering third of global deaths in 2019 according to the World Health Organization, remains a critical public health concern [2].

The comprehensive study, “Long-Term Consumption of 6 Different Beverages and Cardiovascular Disease–Related Mortality,” scrutinized the impact of various beverages over 6 to 40 years.

Among the beverages assessed were sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened tea, coffee, 100% fruit juice, energy drinks and alcohol.

Tea emerged as the clear frontrunner in promoting heart health, demonstrating a 19% reduction in mortality risk from heart-related conditions such as heart attacks and strokes. This benefit extended to both men and women, making tea consumption a universally favorable habit.

While coffee consumption exhibited an even more significant reduction in mortality risk at 37%, this effect was observed exclusively in men, with no discernible benefits for women.

Conversely, alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages emerged as detrimental to heart health, with higher consumption correlating with increased mortality risk. Interestingly, higher alcohol intake was associated with a heightened risk of stroke in both genders.

At the same time, increased consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks correlated with a 31% higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

The authors proposed several mechanisms underlying tea’s heart-protective properties, including its anti-inflammatory, insulin-sensitizing and polyphenol properties, which regulate glucose and cholesterol levels.

Dr Carrie Ruxton, a dietitian from the Tea Advisory Panel, emphasized the significance of the findings, highlighting the importance of establishing a long-term tea-drinking habit from early adulthood or even childhood [3].

The meta-analysis drew from a vast pool of participants, totaling 113,673 individuals, to evaluate the impact of tea consumption on heart health.

Among this group of people, 3,874 deaths occurred due to coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease or heart failure over follow-up periods ranging from 6 to 40 years.

The study reinforces previous research indicating a positive association between tea consumption and cardiovascular health [4]. Notably, every additional daily cup of tea (approximately 240 mL) reduced the risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 4%, underscoring the incremental benefits of tea consumption.

Conversely, each additional serving of sugar-sweetened beverages (approximately 355 mL) was associated with an 8% increase in the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, based on data from 896,005 participants.

While the study illustrated the benefits of tea, it also underscored the lack of conclusive evidence regarding the impact of fruit juice and energy drinks on heart health.

The findings from this comprehensive meta-analysis provide compelling evidence of tea’s remarkable ability to safeguard heart health.

As Dr Ruxton summarizes, the nation’s love affair with tea translates into tangible benefits for cardiovascular wellbeing, reaffirming the wisdom of taking a moment to savor a cup of tea.

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10904171/
[2] https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cardiovascular-diseases-(cvds)
[3] https://www.teaadvisorypanel.com/
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3123419/

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