Habitual Tea Drinkers Live Longer And Healthier, Study Finds

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  • Habitual tea drinkers live 1.26 years longer compared with those who never or seldom drank tea
  • The study suggests that green tea is healthier than black tea
  • Green tea is a rich source of polyphenols that protect against cardiovascular diseases and their risk factors

Findings of a new study have found that people who drink tea at least three times a week live longer and healthier lives.

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In a new study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology on Jan. 9, Dongfeng Gu, from the Chinese Academy of Medical Science, and colleagues looked at the data of 100,902 individuals, who were classified as either habitual tea drinkers , or those who consumed tea at least three times a week, and the never or non-habitual tea drinkers, or those who drink tea less than three times a week.

Analysis of the data gathered over a period of about 7.3 years revealed that habitual tea consumption was linked to more healthy years and longer life expectancy.

The researchers found that 50-year-old habitual tea drinkers live 1.26 years longer compared with those who never or seldom drank tea. They also have reduced risk for a range of serious illnesses and all-cause death.

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The study also suggests that green tea is healthier than black tea. The researchers found that 49 percent of the habitual tea drinkers in the study consumed green tea most frequently, and only 8 percent preferred black tea.

Green tea is a rich source of polyphenols that protect against cardiovascular diseases and their risk factors.

Black tea is fully fermented and during this process, the polyphenols are oxidized into pigments and thus lose their antioxidant effects. Black tea is often served with milk and prior studies have shown that milk may counteract the favorable health effects of tea on vascular function.

“Tea, especially green tea, is a rich source of flavonoids including mainly epicatechin, catechin, and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), etc,” Gu and colleagues wrote in their study.

“Mechanism studies have revealed that these bioactive compounds could attenuate oxidative stress, relieve inflammation, enhance endothelial and cardiomyocyte function.”