Tea can reduce risk of heart attacks and stroke

Just one cup of tea a day could lower your risk of heart attack and stroke, research suggests.

A study of 6,200 people found those who drank tea every day had a 35 per cent lower chance of a cardiac arrest, stroke, heart attack or cardiovascular death than those who never drank tea.

They also had fewer calcium deposits in the coronary arteries around the heart – a major cause of heart problems, said the team from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, US.

‘We found that being a moderate tea drinker was associated with a decreased progression of coronary artery calcium and decreased incidence of major adverse cardiovascular events,’ they told the American Heart Association in Arizona yesterday.

The added: ‘Future research is needed to understand the potentially protective nature of moderate tea intake.’


They did not examine why tea has such a protective role, but previous research has suggested that flavonoids – a type of antioxidant found in tea – may be responsible.

The chemicals are known to prevent cell damage and help people lose weight.

A 2014 study by Taiwanese researchers found that drinking a cup of tea per day for one year or more is likely to decrease arterial stiffness.

A 2013 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that regular tea consumption lowers the risk of stroke.

A review of 24 studies involving 856,000 people, published last year in the European Journal of Epidemiology, concluded: ‘Increased tea consumption is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, cardiac death, stroke, cerebral infarction, and intracerebral haemorrhage, as well as total mortality.’

Tea can cut your risk of diabetes

Drinking three cups of tea a day can cut the risk of diabetes, says new research.

Two studies show that black tea has a glucose-lowering effect that could help prevent and manage type 2 diabetes, which affects 2.3 million Britons.

Experts say the findings suggest around three cups a day might help the body control blood sugar levels more effectively.

In the studies US and Japanese scientists investigated extracts from black tea in the laboratory.

They discovered the action of natural ingredients in black tea could lead to reductions in blood sugar.

The US research led by Lisa Striegel from Framingham State University analysed black tea leaves after being immersed in hot water.

They extracted a number of polyphenols – antioxidants – all of which were shown to block enzymes that push up blood sugar from the digestion of carbohydrates.

They had ‘significant activity’ against the enzymes, alpha amylase and alpha-glucosidase.

This suggests that black tea extract may reduce levels of glucose normally associated with these digestive enzymes, says a report in Frontiers of Nutrition.

In a second study from Japan, a freeze dried powder extract of black tea leaves was found to have a similar effect on the two enzymes.

The study from the Hokkaido Pharmaceutical University School of Pharmacy was published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology.

Although black tea was analysed in the study, other research in humans suggests adding milk does not dilute the benefits.

Dr Catherine Hood from the industry backed Tea Advisory Panel (TAP) said ‘Diabetes is a condition of disordered glucose metabolism.

The main source of glucose in the body comes from the digestion and hydrolysis of dietary carbohydrates.

‘The digestive enzymes pancreatic alpha-amylase and the intestinal alpha glucosidases are responsible for digesting carbohydrates to form glucose.

‘Inhibition of these enzymes and hence the inhibition of glucose formation could contribute to the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes.’

Previous reviews involving almost 300,000 people found those who drank three to four cups a day enjoyed a 25 per cent lower chance of developing type 2 diabetes compared with those drinking tea occasionally or not at all.


Australian researchers ruled out the effects of caffeine, saying other ingredients such as magnesium and antioxidants may be responsible.

Dr Tim Bond from TAP said the studies provided additional evidence that around three cups of tea a day might produce anti-diabetic benefits.

He said ‘Tea is a very popular beverage in the UK and these latest findings together with many other published studies continue to suggest that Britain’s’ favourite beverage is good for our health including our heart and vascular system.’

Almost 80 per cent of Britons are tea drinkers and they get through an estimated 165 million cups every day.

The British tea industry is estimated to be worth more than £700million a year.

Antioxidants known as flavonoids found in tea are thought to control inflammation, reduce excess blood clotting, promote blood vessel function and limit furring up of the arteries.