Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
A new study has uncovered that drinking tea could actually be linked to longer life.
Experts at the National Institutes of Health have revealed that, in comparison to those who don’t drink tea, those who typically drink two or more cups a day benefited from between a nine and 13 percent lower risk of mortality.
They also had a decreased risk of heart disease and strokes.
The researchers drew their conclusion with data from UK Biobank, which recorded that 85 percent of the half a million men and women, aged between 40 and 69, were regular tea drinkers.
As many as 89 percent of these people opted for black tea (rather than a herbal or green variety).
The findings, which were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that the result wasn’t altered if the participants also drank coffee as well as brews, or added milk or sugar to their cuppas.
Temperature of the tea didn’t matter, either; nor did genetic variants which may have affected the speed in which those surveyed how quickly people metabolised caffeine.
Based on a questionnaire participants answered between 2006 and 2010 – and followed up for more than ten years – the results are some of the first to look at tea more broadly, and not just green tea.
Fernando Rodriguez Artalejo, professor of preventive medicine and public health at the Autonomous University of Madrid, said the findings are ‘a substantial advance in the field’, explaining that previously, most research took place in Asia, where green tea is most commonly consumed.
Fernando added: “This article shows that regular consumption of black tea (the most widely consumed tea in Europe) is associated with a modest reduction in total and, especially, cardiovascular disease mortality over 10 years in a middle-aged, mostly white, adult general population.”
However, the study is not definitive, because researchers can’t prove it is tea affecting mortality rates, and not other lifestyle factors.
“Studies should be done with repeated measurements of tea consumption over time and compare the mortality of those who do not consume tea on a sustained basis with that of those who have started to consume tea or have increased their consumption over time, and those who have been drinking tea for years,” he explains.
Obviously, nobody can guarantee that a cuppa is going to prolong your life, but we’ll certainly take any excuse to knock a couple of brews back a day.