Drinking Two Cups of Black Tea Daily May Prolong Life

Drinking at least two cups of tea a day may reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular diseases, according to a large observational study.

Researchers at the NIH’s National Cancer Institute (NCI) looked at data on nearly half a million people aged 40 to 69 who enrolled in the U.K. Biobank study between 2006 and 2010.

The participants were asked to complete questionnaires covering demographic, lifestyle, and health-related information, including the number of cups of tea they drank each day. Research published in Annals of Internal Medicine in September found that people who drank at least 2 cups of black tea daily had a 9 to 13% lower risk of death than non-tea drinkers.

Tea drinking was associated with lower mortality from cardiovascular diseases, in particular stroke and ischemic heart disease. In contrast, the study did not find a link between drinking tea and a reduced risk of death from cancer or respiratory disease.

"The results reinforce that tea, including black tea, can be part of a healthy diet," says senior author Dr. Erikka Loftfield of NCI.

The researchers note that the study did not prove that tea drinking lowered the risk of death directly. Neither it assessed tea strength or portion size, which may be important factors.

Therefore, further research is necessary to determine whether drinking tea is directly linked to a lower risk of death.

Tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages worldwide, also popular in the U.S. In 2021, Americans consumed almost 85 billion servings of tea, or more than 3.9 billion gallons. On any given day, more than one-half of the American population drinks tea, according to the Tea Association of the U.S.A.

Tea is associated with other health benefits. As a source of powerful antioxidants, tea may help to decrease inflammation and reduce the risk of the onset of chronic diseases.

Previous studies showed that drinking black tea might improve cholesterol levels in adults with obesity and the risk of heart disorders. The beverage is also thought to play a role in reducing body weight and regulating blood pressure.


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