Drinking tea at least three times a week is linked with a longer and healthier life, according to a study published today (January 8, 2022) in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).
“Habitual tea consumption is associated with lower risks of cardiovascular disease and all-cause death,” said first author Dr. Xinyan Wang, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China. “The favorable health efects are the most robust for green tea and for long-term habitual tea drinkers.”
Habitual tea drinkers who maintained their habit in both surveys had a 39% lower risk of incident heart disease and stroke, 56% lower risk of fatal heart disease and stroke, and 29% decreased risk of all-cause death compared to consistent never or non-habitual tea drinkers.
For example, the analyses estimated that 50-year-old habitual tea drinkers would develop coronary heart disease and stroke 1.41 years later and live 1.26 years longer than those who never or seldom drank tea.
Two factors may be at play. First, green tea is a rich source of polyphenols which protect against cardiovascular disease and its risk factors including high blood pressure and dyslipidaemia.
Black tea is fully fermented and during this process polyphenols are oxidized into pigments and may lose their antioxidant effects.
Second, black tea is often served with milk, which previous research has shown may counteract the favorable health effects of tea on vascular function.