Green Tea Slashes Risk of Disease
Green tea may be the key to slashing the risk of dying from heart disease. Researchers at Japan's Okayama University found that senior citizens who drank large amounts of green tea slashed their risk of dying from heart disease by as much as 76 percent. In addition, their risk of dying from colorectal cancer was reduced by 31 percent.
The researchers studied 12,000 Japanese men and women between the ages of 65 and 84 for up to six years. At the end of the study, more than 1,200 had died, but researchers found that the more green tea they drank, the less likely they were to die. Compared with those who drank less than a cup of green tea each day, those who drank seven cups or more lowered their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by an average of 76 percent. Men lowered their risk by 70 percent and women lowered their risk by a whopping 82 percent.
Researchers believe the dips in mortality rates are due to large amounts of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant, found in green tea. Green tea contains contains between 30 and 40 percent of polyphenols while black tea, the tea most commonly consumed in the Western world, contains between 3 and 10 percent.
The researchers believe the large reductions in death risk in the Japanese study may be due to consuming green tea over a lifetime.
The study added to other studies that have shown green tea to be beneficial. A recent study found that tea drinkers may have younger biological ages than non-tea drinkers that may add as much as five years to the average lifespan. But the recent Japanese study is the first to show a reduction in the risk of developing colorectal cancer.
"To our knowledge, this is the first study that shows the inverse association between green tea and colorectal cancer mortality," said the researchers led by Etsuji Suzuki, adding that the new study could have "significant implications for public health."
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