This is welcome research for those who consider having a cup of tea to be one of life’s everyday pleasures.
One study has suggested that drinking a concoction might be associated with a lower risk of mortality. Compared with non-tea drinkers, people who consumed two or more cups a day had a 9 percent to 13 percent lower mortality risk, the researchers said.
The findings, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, suggested that the result was the same regardless of whether the person added milk or sugar to their tea, or what their preferred temperature was.
The results were also the same regardless of genetic variants that affect the rate at which people metabolize caffeine.
Researchers from the National Institutes of Health used data from the UK Biobank, in which 85% of half a million men and women, aged 40 to 69, reported drinking tea regularly. Of those, 89% said they drank the black variety.
The study was carried out with a questionnaire answered from 2006 to 2010 and followed for more than a decade.
Fernando Rodríguez Artalejo, professor of preventive medicine and public health at the Autonomous University of Madrid, described the research as “a substantial advance in the field.”
He said most of the studies had been done in Asia, where green tea is most widely consumed, and the few outside the continent were “small in size and inconclusive in their results.”
Artalejo said: “This article shows that regular consumption of black tea (the most widely consumed tea in Europe) is associated with a modest reduction in total and especially cardiovascular disease mortality over 10 years in a middle-aged adult, in mostly white. General population.”
He added that the study did not definitively establish that tea was the cause of the lower mortality in tea drinkers, because it could not exclude that this is due to other health factors associated with tea consumption.
In November, The Guardian reported that drinking coffee or tea may be linked to a lower risk of stroke and dementia, according to the largest study of its kind.
Researchers at Tianjin Medical University in China found that people who consumed two to three cups of coffee or three to five cups of tea a day, or a combination of four to six cups of both, had the lowest risk of stroke or dementia.
Those who drank two to three cups of coffee and two to three cups of tea a day had a 32% lower risk of stroke.