Coffee and Tea Good For Your Heart

Jun 22 2010 - 12:01pm
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Are coffee and tea good for your heart or bad? Although there are arguments on both sides, most come down on the positive side, and the latest study on coffee and tea scores points for your heart.

According to researchers in The Netherlands, drinking three to six cups of tea daily is associated with a 45 percent reduced risk of death from heart disease when compared with drinking less than one cup per day. Those who drink six cups of tea daily may enjoy a 36 percent lower risk of heart disease when compared to those who drink less than one cup daily.

For coffee drinkers, two to four cups of java daily is associated with a lower risk of heart disease when compared with drinking less than two or more than four cups daily.

Previous Studies of Coffee and Tea
Previous studies of the heart benefits of green tea show that consuming the beverage daily can benefit the heart. A recent study published in the Annals of Epidemiology, for example, evaluated 12,251 adults and found that those who drank seven or more cups of green tea daily reduced their risk of dying from heart disease by 75 percent when compared with adults who drank less than one cup daily.

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In an earlier (2008) study published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, researchers found that drinking green tea quickly improves the function of the cells that line the circulatory system, which in turn protects the heart.

On the coffee front, results of a 24-year follow-up study reported in Circulation found that long-term coffee drinking is associated with a lower risk of stroke in women who don’t smoke. Basically, there was a 20 percent reduced risk among women who drank four or more cups daily, and a 12 percent reduced risk among those who drank coffee five to seven times a week. In the new Netherlands study, the researchers did not find evidence that drinking coffee had an impact on the risk of stroke.

Coffee drinking has also been associated with other benefits. A study shows that consuming three to five cups of coffee daily in midlife reduces the risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease by 65 percent.

New Heart Study
In the new Netherlands study, the researchers used questionnaires to evaluate coffee and tea consumption among 37,514 volunteers, whom they followed for 13 years to determine the occurrence of cardiovascular disease and death. Although the researchers did not identify which type of tea the participants drank, black tea represents 78 percent of the total tea consumed in The Netherlands, while green tea represents only 4.6 percent.

The results of this study lend additional support to claims that coffee and tea provide significant health benefits, and especially for the heart. The researchers suggest that the antioxidants present in tea may explain the heart benefits, but the exact underlying reasons are still not understood. Coffee also contains antioxidants.

SOURCES:
Alexopoulos N et al. European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation 2008; 15:300-5
De Koning Gans JM et al. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 2010 Jun 18
Lopez-Garcia E et al. Circulation 2009 Mar 3; 119(8): 1116-23
Suzuki E et al. Annals of Epidemiology 2009; 19(10): 732-39

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Comments

Darn - would be nice if they would at LEAST say whether the chemicals were from regular AND decaf. There is a chemical (not caffeine) in coffee and tea that causes 1. acid stomach/acid reflux..and bad breath. My doctor to forego both because...2. caffeine raises your blood pressure. & my bp isn't that high either! Really need more info to balance these reports on coffee.
Recently it came up on the BBC - 6 cups of tea/coffee a day=good for the heart Xx, D..