DRINKING AT least three cups of tea a week could be the secret to a longer and healthier life, a new study claims.
According to new research published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, scientists have identified a link between regular consumption of Mrs Doyle’s favourite hot beverage and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease as well as improved health.
Researchers from Chinese Academy of Medical Science in Beijing examined 100,902 adults as part of the study.
All of the test subjects had no family history of heart attack, stroke or cancer.
As part of the study, information on tea consumption was collected with those participating separating into two categories: those who drank tea three or more times a week and those that drank less than three times a week.
Test subjects were tracked for an average of 7.3 years with the findings revealing the more regular tea drinkers had a a 20% lower risk of heart disease and stroke.
When compared to less regular tea drinkers or those who didn’t drink tea at all, the hazard ratio and 95 percent confidence interval among habitual tea drinkers was found to be at 0.80 (0.75–0.87), 0.78 (0.69–0.88), and 0.85 (0.79–0.90) for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease incidence.
The study found regular tea drinkers had 1.41 years longer of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease-free years and 1.26 years longer of life expectancy at the index age of 50 years.
These numbers pointed to a link between greater levels of tea consumption and reduced risks of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality.
Additionally, scientists looked at changes in tea drinking behaviour in a subset of 14,081 participants, monitoring them for an average of 8.2 years after the initial survey and following up an average of 5.3 years after.
Their findings suggest regular drinkers who maintained their tea habit had a 39 percent lower risk of incident heart disease and stroke, as well as 56 percent lower risk of fatal heart disease and stroke, and 29 percent decreased risk of all-cause death compared to those who either didn’t drink tea regularly or went without the beverage altogether.
Dr Xinyan Wang, of the Chinese Academy of Medical Science in Beijing, said: “Habitual tea consumption is associated with lower risks of cardiovascular disease and all-cause death. The favourable health effects are the most robust for green tea and for long-term habitual tea drinkers.”
Despite the results researchers did not that green tea, rather than regular tea, was the most commonly consumed blend in the study.
Of the habitual tea drinkers assessed, 49 percent drank green tea, 43 percent preferred scented or other teas, while just 8 percent opted for black tea.
Dongfeng Gu of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, senior author of the paper, has 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."