13 Year Study: Coffee and Tea May Cut Heart Disease

Here’s a news story with an uplifting lede for a change: coffee and tea may be quite good for your health. Tea may be especially good for you. For your heart, to be exact:

Drinking several cups of tea or coffee a day appears to protect against heart disease, a 13-year-long study from the Netherlands has found.

It adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting health benefits from the most popular hot drinks.

Those who drank more than six cups of tea a day cut their risk of heart disease by a third, the study of 40,000 people found.

Consuming between two to four coffees a day was also linked to a reduced risk.

While the protective effect ceased with more than four cups of coffee a day, even those who drank this much were no more likely to die of any cause, including stroke and cancer, than those who abstained.

The Dutch tend to drink coffee with a small amount of milk and black tea without. There have been conflicting reports as to whether milk substantially affects the polyphenols – believed to be the most beneficial substance in tea.

A Press Trust of India story in The Hindu newspaper in India focuses mostly on the good news about tea — a favorite in India (I liked tea as a kid but my two stays in New Delhi Jan-May 1972 and Sept 1973-May 1975 turned me into a fanatical tea drinker. I learned how to make REAL “chai” but to this day drink several varieties of tea throughout the day — and am sipping some as I write this post):

Tea is known for its several health benefits. Add one more to the list – drinking a cup of the beverage thrice daily can significantly reduce the risk of dying from heart disease, a new study has claimed……

….People who sip between three and six cups of tea each day are 45 per cent less likely to die from coronary problems compared with those who drink fewer than one a day. And, two to four cups of coffee a day may lower your risk of developing heart problems by 20 per cent, the study has found.

The humble cuppa contains flavonoids, which offer significant cardiovascular benefits – potentially saving many thousands of lives each year, say the researchers.

…..Responding to the findings Ellen Mason, senior cardiac nurse at British Heart Foundation, said, “This adds further weight to the evidence that drinking tea and coffee in moderation is not harmful for most people, and may even lower your risk of developing, or dying, from heart disease.

Modern Medicine:

The researchers found that people with a moderate coffee consumption habit — drinking two to four cups daily — had a 20 percent lower risk of CHD than those who drank lower or greater amounts. In addition, tea had an inverse relationship with CHD; people who drank more than six cups of tea a day had a 36 percent lower risk of heart disease than those who drank less than one cup. Those who drank three to six cups of tea per day had a 45 percent lower risk of death from heart disease than those who drank less than one cup. No association was found between either beverage and stroke.

“High tea consumption is associated with a reduced risk of CHD mortality. Our results suggest a slight risk reduction for CHD mortality with moderate coffee consumption and strengthen the evidence on the lower risk of CHD with coffee and tea consumption,” the authors write.