Tea could reduce risk of circulatory disease
Studies show that drinking tea can significantly reduce chances of atherosclerosis
October 10, 1999
Web posted at: 7:14 p.m. EDT (2314 GMT)
From Medical Correspondent Dr. Steve Salvatore
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Tea drinkers take heart. People who drink
tea each day significantly reduce their chances of
atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, according to a
study published this week in the Archives of Internal
Those who drank one or two cups a day lowered their risk by
46 percent. For those who drank four cups a day, the risk
dropped by 69 percent.
Women seem to benefit more by drinking tea, the second most
consumed beverage in the world after water. And adding milk,
honey, lemon or sugar do not diminish the positive health
effects, experts said.
CNN's Dr. Steve Salvatore reports new evidence suggests tea can significantly lower your risk of developing one of the most common and often fatal diseases.
"If can be linked directly that consumption of tea prevents
development of blockages, then obviously tea would become a
very important part of our dietary counseling for patients
who have heart trouble or are at risk for heart attack or
stroke," said Dr. David Vorchheimer of the Mt. Sinai School
The beneficial effects of tea are probably due to bio-
flavanoids, natural substances that act as powerful anti-
oxidants, limiting the effects of free radicals in the body.
"Free radicals are very damaging because they can trigger a
chain reaction," said Dr. Michael Gaziano of Brigham &
Women's Hospital. "One free radical can damage thousands and
thousands of lipid molecules. So the reaction, we like to
stop it early on in the process."
Most studies supporting the health benefits of tea have
concerned black tea, the most widely consumed tea in the
world. Green tea also has anti-oxidant properties, but
experts say more research is needed.
"If you have 1 or 2 percent of the population drinking one
kind of herbal tea, and 1 or 2 percent of the population
drinking another kind of herbal tea, it might be very
difficult for us to see any kind of association given those
small numbers," said Gaziano.
Researchers caution that more studies would be necessary to
determine if tea is directly responsible for the health
"The tea itself might have had nothing to do with the
prevention of heart attacks. The tea might have been a marker
for patients who live a healthy lifestyle, people who avoid
caffeine, who don't smoke, who exercise," said Vorchheimer.
Although tea has caffeine, most doctors see no reason why
people should stop drinking it. Caffeine can increase heart
rate and blood pressure, but a cup or two a day of tea, which
has half the caffeine of coffee, probably will not hurt.
American Classic Tea challenges the imports
May 1, 1999
Study: Tea may be key to protecting against some cancers
September 15, 1998
U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization
American Heart Association
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