According to a recent study drinking tea protects against cholesterol build up in the arteries. The study finds that this helps especially in women.
In this study, researchers from the Erasmus University Medical School, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, recorded food intake including tea consumption among 3,454 people involved in The Rotterdam Study. None of the study participants had any signs of heart or related diseases of the blood vessels at the start of the study.
After 2 to 3 years of follow-up, the team assessed how much cholesterol had built up in arteries of the study participants. People were categorized as having either mild, moderate, or severe atherosclerosis. The results indicate that people who drank one to two cups of tea a day were 46% less likely to develop severe atherosclerosis. The risk of having severe atherosclerosis was 69% lower in those who drank four cups of tea a day. The protective benefit of tea was found to be “most pronounced” among women, the investigators note.
For both men and women, the association between tea drinking and milder degrees of atherosclerosis was not significant.The authors of the study acknowledge that at least in the West, people who drink tea generally have a healthier lifestyle and diet, which may account for the findings. In this study, for example, the researchers found that people who tended to drink more tea were also lean, had a healthy diet, and smoked less.
The researchers concluded that their data should
“provide evidence for a protective effect of tea drinking against severe atherosclerosis, especially in women.Further investigation into the mechanisms that explain the protective effect of tea flavonoids in the cardiovascular system is warranted,”
This is great news for tea drinkers. Not only do the flavonoids and other aspects of tea prevent diseases in other aspects of the body, but can help with heart health. There is good reason to “heart” tea.