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Saturday 23 September 2017

You will, you will! Why tea is good for the heart

Heart disease rates could be reduced by 10pc if everyone took to drinking large amounts of tea, a study suggests.

Researchers found that consuming the equivalent of around eight cups of black tea a day led to a significant lowering of blood pressure.

They estimated that in the general population this would result in a 10pc reduction in high blood pressure prevalence and a 7pc to 10pc reduction in the risk of heart disease.

A group of 95 men and women aged 35 to 75 were given three cups of powdered black tea solids each day for six months, or a flavour-matched non-tea "placebo" drink.

Each tea drink contained 429 milligrams of polyphenols, plant chemicals that are said to have health benefits.

A regular cup of black leaf tea contains up to 150mg of polyphenols, so the total dose consumed by the volunteers was equivalent to 8.58 cups of tea a day. Participants had normal to high blood pressure readings at the start of the study. After six months, their blood pressure levels had reduced by two to 3mm of mercury.

The team led by Dr Jonathan Hodgson, from the University of Western Australia, wrote: "Our study has demonstrated for the first time to our knowledge that long-term regular consumption of black tea can result in significantly lower BPs (blood pressures) in individuals with normal to high-normal range BPs.

"At a population level, the observed differences in BP would be associated with a 10pc reduction in the prevalence of hypertension (high blood pressure) and a 7pc to 10pc reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease."

Dr Tim Bond, from the Tea Advisory Panel, said it was great news for tea drinkers.

hnews@herald.ie

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