Japanese adults who consume more green tea have a lower risk of stroke and CVD mortality, according to the findings of a new study published in the September 13 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association. The study suggests antioxidants, known as polyphenols, found in green tea may improve cardiovascular health and prolong life.
The 11-year study tracked a large participant base of 40,530 Japanese adults aged 40 to 79, examining associations of daily green tea consumption (one to five-cup-a-day categories) and mortality rate due to all causes, CVD, and cancer. Lead researcher Shinichi Kuriyama, M.D., Ph.D., of the Tohoku University School of Public Policy, Sendai, Japan, and colleagues concluded that green tea consumption is associated with reduced all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality but not with reduced cancer mortality.
In comparison to those who drank little or no green tea, all-cause mortality rates were 16 percent lower in participants who consumed five or more cups a day over the entire study span. During the first seven years, the percentage rose to 26 percent. Both men and women in the five-cup-a-day category had a substantially lower risk of stroke, 42 and 62 percent respectively.
Heart disease and stroke mortality rates in Japan are about 30 percent lower than that of the United States. The study findings point to the possibility that green tea may be a causative factor. Japanese people consume green tea as a favorite beverage, unlike Americans who prefer black tea, coffee or soda. Other factors such as a healthier Asian diet including tofu, fruits, rice, vegetables, and fish may also have an impact, in comparison to the less nutritious Western dietary choices. The specific health benefit green tea offers in association with improved cardiovascular health remains undetermined and further clinical trials are required to pinpoint exact cause-and-effect.
"Written by Rev. Dr. Richard Browne