Drinking tea three times a week is linked with a longer and healthier life

Good news for tea lovers.

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Drinking tea at least three times a week can lead to a longer and healthier life, according to a new study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

The research by the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China, found that chronic tea consumption is associated with lower risks of cardiovascular disease and all-cause death. The study involved 100,902 participants of the China-PAR project who had no history of heart attack, stroke, or cancer.

The researchers classified participants into two groups: habitual tea drinkers (three or more times a week) and never or non-habitual tea drinkers (less than three times a week) and followed them up for a median of 7.3 years.

The study found that chronic tea consumption was associated with more healthy years of life and longer life expectancy. It 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.

Compared with never or non-habitual tea drinkers, habitual tea consumers had a 20% lower risk of incident heart disease and stroke, a 22% lower risk of fatal heart disease and stroke, and a 15% decreased risk of all-cause death.

The study also found that green tea was linked with approximately 25% lower risks for incident heart disease and stroke, fatal heart disease and stroke, and all-cause death. However, no significant associations were observed for black tea.

The researchers noted that 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.

The study also found that the protective effects of habitual tea consumption were pronounced and robust across different outcomes for men but only modest for women.

The authors concluded that randomized trials are warranted to confirm the findings and provide evidence for dietary guidelines and lifestyle recommendations.

Journal Reference

  1. Xinyan Wang, Fangchao Liu, Jianxin Li, Xueli Yang, Jichun Chen, Jie Cao, Xigui Wu, Xiangfeng Lu, Jianfeng Huang, Ying Li, Liancheng Zhao, Chong Shen, Dongsheng Hu, Ling Yu, Xiaoqing Liu, Xianping Wu, Shouling Wu, Dongfeng Gu. Tea consumption and the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality: The China-PAR project. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 2020; 204748731989468 DOI: 10.1177/2047487319894685
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