Tea drinkers enjoy possible health benefits, study suggests

Tea drinkers enjoy possible health benefits, study suggests

A cup of tea just got a bit more relaxing.

Tea can be part of a healthy diet and people who drink tea may even be a little more likely to live longer than those who don’t, according to a large study.

Tea contains helpful substances known to reduce inflammation. Past studies in China and Japan, where green tea is popular, suggested health benefits. This new study confirms that black tea is the U.K.’s preferred drink.

Scientists from the U.S. National Cancer Institute asked about the tea habits of nearly a half million adults in the United Kingdom, then followed them for up to 14 years. They adjusted for risk factors such as health, socioeconomics, smoking, alcohol intake, diet, age, race and gender.

Higher tea intake — two or more cups daily — was linked to a modest benefit: a 9% to 13% lower risk of death from any cause vs. non-tea drinkers. The results didn’t differ based on whether tea was heated or if it contained sugar or milk.

The study, published Monday in Annals of Internal Medicine, found the association held up for heart disease deaths, but there was no clear trend for cancer deaths. The reason for this was not clear to researchers, however, Maki InoueChoi who conducted the study, suggested that there might have been too few cancer deaths.

A study like this that is based only on people’s health and habits, cannot prove cause and effect.

“Observational studies like this always raise the question: Is there something else about tea drinkers that makes them healthier?” said Marion Nestle, a professor of food studies at New York University. I like tea. You can enjoy it. But a cautious interpretation seems like a good idea.”

There’s not enough evidence to advise changing tea habits, said Inoue-Choi.

“If one cup of tea is consumed per day, then I believe that’s a good amount. “And please enjoy your cup of tea.”


The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. All content is the sole responsibility of the Associated Press.

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