Heart : Tea Consumption Helps Heart Health

By Greg Arnold, DC, CSCS, March 5, 2009, abstracted from “Green and Black Tea Consumption and Risk of Stroke. A Meta-Analysis” printed online February 20, 2009 in Stroke

In the United States alone, someone has a stroke every 45 seconds and someone dies of stroke every 3 minutes. As the number 3 cause of death among Americans (cancer and heart disease are the leading causes), stroke costs our healthcare system $57 billion each year (1). The cost of stroke between 2005 and 2050 in the United States is estimated to exceed $2 trillion (2).

Supplements that have been found to help maintain a healthy heart include vitamin D (3) B-vitamins (4) like folic acid (5), and calcium (6). Now a new study (7) has found that tea, known to help with bone health in women (8), oral health (9), stress (10), colon health (11) and breast cell health (12), may also help with heart health.

The Tea Council estimates that on any given day, about 50% of Americans drink tea, with the greatest concentration of drinkers in the South and Northeast. Tea sales in the U.S. doubled between 1990 ($1.8 billion) and 1994 ($3.75 billion) (13). In 2002, Americans drank 0.2 kg of tea per person per year, while those in the United Kingdom were #1 in tea consumption, drinking 2.3 kg of tea per person per year (14).

In the study, researchers analyzed data from 9 studies involving almost 195,000 people who suffered 4,378 strokes. They found that those who consumed 3 or more cups of green or black tea per day had a 21% lower risk of stroke than those consuming 1 or fewer cups per day.

The researchers cite that there may be no difference between green and black tea consumption in regards to heart health because both green and black tea have been shown to benefit blood vessel health (15). Although the types of catechins differ between green and black tea, their total amounts are comparable because both black and green tea are derived from the same source, which are the catechins produced within the Camelia sinensis plant (16).

While admitting that “a randomized clinical trial would be necessary to confirm” the heart-healthy effects and green and black tea consumption in regards to stroke, the researchers concluded that “daily consumption of either green or black tea equaling 3 cups per day could prevent the onset of ischemic stroke.”

Greg Arnold is a Chiropractic Physician practicing in Danville, CA. You can contact Dr. Arnold directly by emailing him at mailto:PitchingDoc@msn.com or visiting his web site at www.CompleteChiropracticHealthcare.com

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13. “Tea: A Story of Serendipity” posted on the FDA website
14. www.nationmaster.com/red/graph/foo_tea_con-food-tea-consumption
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