Dodging long-term disease is an important factor in longevity. For this, the body needs enough antioxidants to fight off free radicals and inflammation. These are most abundant in fruits and vegetables, but certain types of tea also have ample amounts. Thanks to its antioxidant activity, black tea may boost protection against cardiovascular disease and early death, a new study has found.
Black tea, which is one of the most consumed drinks around the world, is available in various forms such as Assam, Darjeeling, and Early Grey.
It is well-known for its anti-inflammatory potential, which helps reduce the risk of multiple chronic conditions.
A new study of nearly half a million people, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, has now linked a higher intake of black tea with a lower risk of all-cause mortality, heart disease and stroke.
Medscape UK explained that the study also found “a similar inverse association […] in participants who added milk of sugar to their tea and those with slower genetically predicted caffeine metabolism.”
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In other words, there was no significant reduction in health benefits for individuals who added milk or sugar to their cups.
The findings provide reassurance to tea drinkers and add to a line of evidence that black tea can be included in a healthy diet.
The study authors wrote in their report: “Higher tea intake was associated with lower mortality risk among those drinking two or more cups per day, regardless of genetic variation in caffeine metabolism.”
The findings emerged from a study of nearly 500,000 men and women aged 40 to 69, who provided self-reported data about their tea drinking habits.
This included information about the frequency of their tea consumption and what they added to their cup.
The study’s lead author, Maki Inoue-Choi, noted that while some participants drank no tea at all, the majority did, with some consuming up to 10 cups per day.
During a follow-up period of about 10 years, researchers discovered that individuals who had consumed two or more cups of black tea daily were less likely to have died from causes such as cardiovascular disease, heart disease and stroke.
In fact, the findings showed that drinking two or more cups of tea per day was associated with a nine percent and 12 percent reduction in risk of dying compared with non-tea drinkers.
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Inoue-Choi noted that the findings “may offer reassurance to tea drinkers,” adding: “We were able to assess the association in this population with a high prevalence of black tea drinking in a wide range of consumption levels.”
The findings add to a large body of pre-existing research on the effects of black tea on cholesterol, high triglycerides and obesity.
There has been overwhelming evidence so far that black tea is effective in reducing the risk of all these conditions.
One potential explanation for these effects is a significant increase in the antioxidant status of the body.
Although a great number of supplements contain antioxidants, the best way to consume them is through food and drink.
The antioxidants in tea – known as flavonoids – are also found in other vegetables, fruits, red wine, and dark chocolate.
Eating these types of foods regularly can help the body neutralise free radicals in the body, and protect against disease.
Free radicals are reactive particles that are responsible for damaging the body’s DNA, proteins and cell membranes.
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