How to live longer: Drinking UK's favourite drink has been proven to boost life expectancy
11 January, 2020, 05:12
Jodie Relf, a dietitian and spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association, said: 'The researchers do not mention how the tea is consumed or in what form - in China green tea is often consumed as a loose tea and not in tea bag form as it is in more westernised cultures; this may change the health enhancing properties of the tea.
It was discovered those who drank tea habitually experienced more healthy years of life and a longer life expectancy.
"Habitual tea consumption was associated with more healthy years of life and longer life expectancy", the scientists said. In fact, the data showed that habitual tea drinkers were expected to live up to 1.26 years longer at aged 50 over those who did not regularly drink tea.
The sample of participants were then followed for a median of 7.3 years, in which time a combination of face-to-face questionnaires were used to collect data on tea consumption, demographic characteristics, lifestyle risk factors and personal medical history. Those figures rose to 56% and 29%, respectively, for people who kept up their tea habit over time, based on surveys 8.2 years apart.
Their analysis found that regular tea drinkers had a 20% lower risk of having heart disease and stroke, and a 22% lower risk of dying from heart disease and stroke.
Compared to the people who never or rarely drank tea, habitual tea drinkers had a 20% lower risk of heart disease and stroke.
Dr Dongfeng Gu, senior author of the study, explained: "Mechanism studies have suggested that the main bioactive compounds in tea, namely polyphenols, are not stored in the body long-term".
"Frequent tea intake over an extended period may be necessary for the cardioprotective effect", Gu said in a press release.
In addition, the researchers also analysed the type of tea to have a better understanding of the study.
There will need to be more research into whether there are benefits for drinking more tea, such as the average of four cups a day.
However, as drinking tea is part of Chinese culture, Gu said, the apparent health benefits might be mixed up in other eating habits, like consuming other flavonoid-rich products like coffee.
Their findings also showed that green tea offered the biggest benefits, while no significant associations were noted with black tea.
"The favourable health effects are the most robust for green tea and for long-term habitual tea drinkers". In black tea, it is fully fermented so may lose some effects and adding milk could also counteract the favourable health effects.
Compared with non-habitual tea drinkers or people who never drink tea, the hazard ratio and 95 percent confidence interval among habitual tea drinkers was 0.80 (0.75-0.87), 0.78 (0.69-0.88), and 0.85 (0.79-0.90) for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease incidence.
She concludes: "The China-PAR project is ongoing, and with more person-years of follow-up among women the associations may become more pronounced".
Funding: Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS) Innovation Fund for Medical Sciences (2017-I2M-1-004); National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFC0211700 and 2018YFC1311703).
These numbers pointed to a link between greater levels of tea consumption and reduced risks of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality.
The study was published Thursday in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
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