Just one cup of green tea a day could lower the risk of heart disease and premature death, according to Japanese researchers.
Their study of more than 90,000 people aged 40 to 69 over four years found that the more green tea they drank, the less likely they were to die from heart disease, stroke and respiratory disease.
Women who drank just one cup a day had a 10 per cent lower risk of dying early, but this rose to 17 per cent if they drank five or more cups daily. A similar trend was seen in men, reports Annals of Epidemiology.
One theory is that green tea is high in antioxidants called polyphenols, including EGCG, which helps regulate blood pressure and body fat.
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.’