Regular tea drinking leads to lower risk of heart disease and longer life expectancy
If you drink tea on the reg, recent scientific research says could live up to 1.26 years longer, and reduce your risk of fatal heart disease and stroke by 22%.
Thanks to recent research, the humble cuppa is now much more than just a social lubricate, or an excuse for a Tim Tam. It might be a shortcut to a longer and healthier life. However, the science shows you have to sip it on a regular basis for the full suite of health benefits.
According to a recent study of 100,902 people, lead author Dr. Xinyan Wang from the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing, China, surmised that drinking tea is effective in reducing risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), but also that green tea is the best kind of tea to increase life expectancy. We might have to put our dandelion tea on the back-burner, for now at least.
Let’s be clear about what cardiovascular disease is
According to the Australian Department of Health, cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in Australia.
The Australian institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) writes, CVD surrounds a multitude of conditions related to the blood vessels and heart, especially affecting elderly people, males, Indigenous people and those living in remote and socioeconomically disadvantaged areas.
Science backs up our endless-cups-of-tea habit
Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences’ study focused on all causes of death related to CVD, and found that those who drink tea on a daily basis were found to live 1.4 years longer before developing coronary heart disease, with also gained an extra 1.26 years of life expectancy as of age 50.
This current research by Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences is the first to assess the effects of teas consumption surrounding multiple CVD instances. And what they found was habitual tea consumption is more effective in lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, and also in all-cause death.
The science speaks for itself
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. 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.”
According to the study, regular tea drinkers had a 20% less chance of suffering from heart disease and stroke, and a 22% less chance of suffering from fatal heart disease and stroke, and a 15% less chance of death from any cause.
So what kind of tea can we drink that will have an effect CVD reduction? They say it’s green tea.
Green tea is the best for a long, healthy life
The research also involved a sub-analysis of different types of tea that may be linked to lower heart disease and stroke incidences, including green tea and black tea.
They found green tea was “linked to about 25% lower in chance surrounding heart disease and stroke, fatal heart disease and stroke, and all-cause death,” according to the study. But the same significant results couldn’t be said for black tea.
Dr Gu mentioned that green tea is most preferred within East Asia therefore “49% of habitual tea drinkers consumed green tea most frequently, while only 8% preferred black tea,” he said.
“The small proportion of habitual black tea drinkers might make it more difficult to observe robust associations, but our findings hint at a differential effect between tea types,” Dr Gu said.
It’s suggested that two ideas surround the results of green and black tea. Green tea,”as a source of polyphenols which protect against cardiovascular disease and its risk factors including high blood pressure and dyslipidemia,” and the understanding that black tea is fermented where “during this process polyphenols are oxidised into pigments and may lose their antioxidant effects,” the study concluded.
Black tea is often served with milk, which research shows that it may nullify the health effects tea has on vascular function.