Scientists suggest that those who drink 2 or more cups of black tea a day may have a modestly lower risk of dying than those who don’t. Even a high consumption could be part of a healthy diet
New research reveals that drinking black tea may have health benefits and be associated with a moderately lower risk of mortality, according to a large study published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Tea is one of the most consumed beverages in the world and is known to have effective substances to reduce inflammation. Previous studies conducted in China and Japan, where green tea is very popular, also suggest health benefits. The new study spreads the good news for the UK’s favorite drink: black tea.
A risk between 9 and 13% lower
Experts from the US National Cancer Institute analyzed a large database of nearly half a million adults in the UK. These people were asked about their tea drinking habits and followed for up to 14 years.
85% of the people studied said they drink tea regularly, and of these, 89% said they drink black tea. A wide variety of risk factors were taken into account, including health, socioeconomic status, smoking, alcohol consumption, diet, age, race, and gender.
Analyzes showed that higher tea consumption — two or more cups a day — was associated with a modest benefit: 9% to 13% lower all-cause mortality compared with non-tea drinkers. The temperature of this drink, the addition of milk or sugar, or the consumption of coffee did not change the results.
It is not a study that can prove cause and effect
The association held for heart disease deaths, but there was no clear trend for cancer deaths. Researchers aren’t sure why, but there may not have been enough cancer deaths for any effect to show up, said study leader Maki Inoue-Choi.
This research, based on observation of people’s habits and health, cannot prove cause and effect: “Observational studies always ask the question: Is there something else about tea drinkers that makes them healthier?” ?” asked Marion Nestle, a professor of food studies at New York University.
“Enjoy your cup of tea”
“I like tea. I think it’s a good drink. But it would be better to interpret these results in a cautious way,” added Nestle.
Meanwhile, Inoue-Choi assures that there is not enough evidence to advise changing tea habits: “If you already drink a cup a day, I think that is good. And please enjoy your cup of tea.”