Enjoying a cup of tea more than three times daily has been associated with reducing the stiffness of the arteries, according to new research.
Stiffness of the arteries is a predictor of future cardiovascular disease (CVD) and also total mortality from CVD-related issues.
The study findings were that those people drinking high amounts of tea (more than 3 cups or 2 mugs) had a 22% reduced risk of a high brachial-ankle PWV (baPWV) measurement i.e. associated with lower arterial stiffness.
To test for arterial stiffness, the measure of pulse wave velocity (PWV) was used, specifically the brachial-ankle PWV (baPWV) in which the measurement is made by strapping a pressure cuff around both arms and ankles. A higher value indicating increased arterial stiffness.
Commenting on the research, Dr Tim Bond from the Tea Advisory Panel notes: “This research employed good methodology; specifically the use of a well-validated measure of arterial stiffness and it also took account of a range of confounding factors such as age, sex, current smoking, alcohol consumption, exercise and obesity which can influence study findings. Of note as well is that the study group was drawn from an apparently healthy population and as such is a good reflection of a normal group of tea consumers. It is the first study to evaluate the link between tea consumption and arterial stiffness with this detailed methodology.
“Components of tea likely to be responsible for the beneficial findings in this study are the flavonoids. These compounds have been shown to improve arterial function, possibly by increasing nitric oxide production.
“In summary this study showed that healthy Chinese people who maintained a high level of tea consumption of more than 3 cups or 4 mugs a day (more than 450ml) for at least one year had a decreased risk of abnormal arterial stiffness. This is good news for Britain’s tea drinkers as this study contributes to the growing evidence of tea’s benefits for the health of the heart and vascular system.”
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