Green tea may be heart-healthy

By HSC Staff Writer • Published: December 28th, 2006
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Next to water, tea is the most popular beverage on Earth.

But many Americans have only tasted black tea, used to make familiar hot and cold drinks.

Green tea is another story. A favorite in the Far East, it has a bold, sometimes bitter flavor that hasn’t caught on with Westerners.

Maybe it’s time for that to change.

A study published recently in The Journal of the American Medical Association suggests green tea might fight cardiovascular disease.

Researchers recruited more than forty-thousand middle-aged and elderly Japanese volunteers with no history of stroke, heart disease or cancer.

They were quizzed on numerous lifestyle factors, including green tea consumption.

During seven years of follow-up, almost nine-hundred volunteers died from cardiovascular disease.

Using a mathematical model, researchers found an association between green tea consumption and reduced mortality.

Men who drank five or more cups of green tea per day had a twenty-two percent lower risk of death from heart trouble, compared with those who drank less than one cup a day.

For women who drank five or more cups per day, the risk reduction was thirty-one percent.

That doesn’t prove green tea is heart-healthy, but researchers believe its polyphenols may help.

They also cautioned that other factors may account for differences in the death rates.

More studies are needed to explore the possible benefits of green tea.

For now, drinking this jade-colored brew is a great way to expand your horizons, even if your palate is, well… jaded.