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Can Drinking Black Tea Help Me Live Longer?

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Can Drinking Black Tea Help Me Live Longer?

June 3, 2023 •  Law Office of Michelle Adams
Drinking black tea may lower your risk of death, according to a new study published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

A recent study has looked at data from nearly 500,000 people aged 40-69 from the UK Biobank, a long-term database that has been tracking genetics and health information since 2006.

The researchers found that drinking at least two cups of black tea each day was linked to a 9%-13% lower risk of death from all causes, compared to not drinking tea at all.

VeryWell Health’s recent article entitled, “Drinking 2 Cups of Black Tea a Day Might Help You Live Longer, Study Finds,” reports that Maki Inoue-Choi, PhD, MS, RD, an epidemiologist at the National Cancer Institute and lead researcher of the study, explained that black tea is rich in flavonoids and polyphenols. These may decrease stress and inflammation and lower the risk of developing certain health conditions.

"If you are already drinking a cup of tea every day, please continue enjoying your cup of tea and be reassured that it is part of a healthy diet," Inoue-Choi told VeryWell in an email.

Colleen Tewksbury, PhD, MPH, RDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, said that observational studies like this one aid scientists in determining the focus of their future research.

However, she added that the caffeine in black tea could be a "drawback" for heart health. However, of course, like any food or drink, the answer to whether black tea is healthy is more nuanced.

"It's one food or one beverage in the grand scheme of what else are you consuming, how much, how often, and for you individually, what your nutrition needs are," Tewksbury said.

According to the study, the benefits of black tea were the same, even if people added milk and sugar to their cups of tea. Dr. Inoue-Choi said this was likely because the participants usually added only a small amount of milk and sugar on average. The sugar and fat content might also only reflect a fraction of someone's overall dietary pattern.

Tewksbury cautioned that it's only possible to make solid recommendations for tea consumption with observational data, especially since this study didn't assess tea strength or portion size.

More research and randomized controlled trials with large, diverse samples are necessary before health professionals can confidently recommend black tea as part of a healthy diet.

Reference: VeryWell Health (Sep. 7, 2022) “Drinking 2 Cups of Black Tea a Day Might Help You Live Longer, Study Finds”

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