Tea for the Heart

Good news for tea-loving romantics. Showing your loved one you care with a gift of tea is a gesture that aims straight for the heart. According to a new study published in the journal Heart, drinking a daily cup of tea can reduce heart disease.

The study assessed the association between tea consumption and ischemic heart disease (IHD) in a group of 487,000 adults in China—199,292 men and 288,082 women between 30 and 79 years of age—across a nine-year period.

“Intriguingly, daily tea consumers were at a lower risk [for ischemic heart disease] incidence than those who drank less than daily, but the increasing amount of tea did not further reduce the risk,” wrote Liming Li, MD, MPH, one of the study’s authors from the department of epidemiology and biostatistics, School of Public Health, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing.

Researchers measured tea consumption in gram of tea leaves added, to better measure the amount of polyphenols, particularly flavonoids, an active ingredient in tea that is associated with heart health. Participants were enrolled in the study from 2004 to 2008, and their health was followed until 2013. Researchers noted the number of cases of incident ischemic heart disease and major coronary events (MCE) among participants over the follow-up period. Results showed clearly that there was a reduced risk for ischemic heart disease and major coronary events associated with drinking tea.

For all participants, the multivariable-adjusted HR for ischemic heart disease was 0.97 (95% CI, 0.94–1) for those who drank tea less than daily and 0.92 (95% CI, 0.88–0.95) for daily consumption versus adults who did not drink tea at all during the past year. The multivariable-adjusted HR for major coronary events was 0.92 (95% CI, 0.85–1) for those who drank tea less than daily and 0.9 (95% CI, 0.82–0.99) for daily consumption versus those who did not drink tea at all during the past year, according to the data.

“Tea consumption was consistently associated with reduced risks of IHD and MCE among both men and women,” the study’s authors wrote.

Different amounts of tea used by participants who were daily consumers did not produce any linear trends in HRs for ischemic heart disease and major coronary events. However, the protective effect of tea consumption on IHD appeared to be stronger among participants who reported longer years of tea consumption.

“The present study yields compelling evidence on understanding the role of tea in cardiovascular health and referring tea as a healthy beverage,” the authors concluded.

Sources: Heart, Helio