Drinking Black Tea Helps Lower Risk For Heart Diseases

Food & Wine

Experts say that black tea may help reduce the risk of dying at a young age brought about by heart disease. This was based on a new observational study that made use of data from almost half a million people between the ages of 40 to 69.

People who reported to drink two or more cups of tea each day were found to have a nine to 13 percent lower risk of dying from a cardiovascular disease or from stroke. They compared the date with those who didn’t drink black tea.

The connection was established and the following parameters didn’t matter: whether participants were coffee drinkers as well, when they had milk or sugar with their tea, when they had an ideal tea temperature, and when there were effects of demographics and lifestyles. The researchers also looked at their genes that determined how fast they metabolized caffeine.

Previous studies made were able to establish a between green tea drinking and reduced mortality in the Asian populations, included in the list is cancer. However, only a few studies on black tea-drinking populations were made and these had mixed results.

A research team in the U.S. led by Dr. Maki Inoue-Choi of the National Institute of Health’s National Cancer Institute investigated the association between tea drinking and mortality in the United Kingdom, using data on the 500,000 people enrolled in the nation’s Biobank study in the early 2000’s.

The participants included in the study were asked to complete questionnaires that asked about demographic, lifestyle, and health-related information. They were also asked about the amount of tea they had every day. The researchers then followed them for 14 years until early 2020. There were some who passed away and the researchers obtained date and cause of death. The details came from the UK National Health Service.

With the results seen, the researchers saw that there was a 9 to 13 percent lower risk of death among those who had at least 2 cups of tea each day. Tea drinking was linked to lower mortality rates that came from cardiovascular diseases and stroke. However, this didn’t reflect a lower risk from cancer or respiratory disease when for those who didn’t drink tea.

The team made a control for factors such as demographic, health, and lifestyle when they analyzed the data. Most of the participants were also able to provide the researchers with genetic data and this allowed them to assess whether the associations they found were also different when these were paired with genetic variants that impacted how they metabolized caffeine and how fast. They found that these factors did not affect the associations. Coffee didn’t have an impact as well.

“The results reinforce that tea, including black tea, can be part of a healthy diet,” says senior author Dr. Erikka Loftfield of NCI. She published the results in the September 2022 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

But the researchers caution that the study is observational and cannot prove that tea drinking lowered the risk of death directly. They made no assessments on some of the aspects that come with tea drinking. They looked at parameters such as cup size and tea strength, which could be crucial. Still, further study should be done in order to determine if and how tea is able to lower the risk of death.

Inoue-Choi, nonetheless, concluded, “If you drink tea already, you may be getting benefits from it.”