Science

Drinking black tea will reduce the risk of death

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Can’t start your day without a good cup of black tea? You are absolutely right ! The results of a British study show that drinking at least two cups of black tea a day leads to a 9-13% lower risk of death compared to those who never drink it. Rest assured, whether you add sugar and/or milk, the benefits are the same.

This study was carried out by a team from the National Cancer Institute (part of the National Institutes of Health), which used data from the British Biobank – the British population is a major tea consumer. Of the approximately 500,000 people aged 40 to 69 who took part in this national survey, 85% said they regularly drink tea. Most of them (89%) drank black tea. An 11-year follow-up shows that drinking at least two cups of black tea daily significantly reduces the risk of mortality.

The virtues of tea, of all varieties combined, have been known for centuries. Less emitted than green tea, black tea is nevertheless the most consumed in the world, especially in Europe. Their difference lies in the processing of tea tree leaves: black tea undergoes fermentation and complete oxidation, which gives it a special taste; green tea is not fermented. Antioxidant-rich black tea is especially beneficial for the cardiovascular system; it thins the blood and thus prevents the formation of blood clots. But this is far from its only advantage.

Significant reduction in mortality from cardiovascular disease

By regulating blood glucose levels, black tea also helps prevent diabetes. More generally, it stimulates metabolism (in particular, lipids), thereby promoting weight loss. Black tea, rich in theaflavins (powerful polyphenols), also has the ability to limit the proliferation of cancer cells. A study recently published in the Annals of Internal Medicine seems to confirm all these virtues.

So far, most of the studies examining the health effects of tea have focused on the Asian population, which mainly consumes green tea. Several studies conducted outside of Asia were based on small samples and their results were inconclusive or even inconsistent. This new study, on the other hand, is based on a large cohort of active black tea drinkers who have been followed for over a decade.

Evidence suggests that regular black tea consumption (i.e. two or more cups per day) is associated with a modest reduction in all-cause mortality (-9%) and a larger reduction (-13%) in cardiovascular disease mortality . coronary heart disease and stroke within 10 years for the general middle-aged population, mostly white adults.

The researchers say the results were the same regardless of genetic factors influencing the rate of caffeine metabolism. Similarly, the results were the same regardless of the drinking temperature and the taste of the tea.

Protective effect against stroke, dementia and depression

“These results indicate that tea, even at high intake levels, can be part of a healthy diet,” the team concludes, noting, however, that potentially important aspects of tea consumption (such as serving size and tea strength) were not taken into account. evaluated. In addition, it is important to note that the study did not clearly establish that tea may have been directly responsible for the decrease in mortality: other health factors associated with tea consumption may well have contributed to this decrease.

One way or another, the beneficial effects of black tea on health have been proven repeatedly. For example, a study by researchers at Tianjin Medical University in China and published last year in the journal PLOS Medicine found that drinking coffee and tea alone or in combination reduced the risk of stroke (-32%) and dementia (-32%). 28%).

Another study of nearly 500 adults found that black tea consumption (up to 4 cups per day) as well as caffeine intake (450 to 600 mg per day) reduced the risk of depression. A finding supported by another study of more than 3,000 elderly people in Singapore, which suggests that tea (all varieties combined) can prevent the worsening of existing depressive symptoms and reduce the likelihood of developing depression.

Finally, a study published last year in the journal Nutrients also showed that, despite its high oxalate content, drinking black tea did not increase the risk of kidney stones.

However, black tea contains more caffeine than other varieties, so it’s important to keep an eye on your intake. Too much caffeine can lead to stress and/or anxiety, as well as sleep disturbances. Note that the longer the tea is brewed, the higher the caffeine content. In addition, the tannins contained in it can bind to the iron contained in certain foods and therefore reduce its absorption by the body, so it is better to use it outside of food, in addition, in case of proven anemia.

M. Inoue-Choi et al., Annals of Internal Medicine.

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