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.’