[Zhi Tea: 7th June, 2008]
A Japanese study found that drinking green tea can lower the risk of death from a variety of illnesses, including cardiovascular disease. The Tohoku University study -- started in 1994 -- looked at 40,530 healthy adults aged 40 to 79 who lived in Northeastern Japan, where roughly 80 percent of people drink green tea and more than half drink three or more cups daily.
Over the course of the 11-year study, people who drank five or more cups of green tea per day had a 16 percent lowered risk of dying from any cause and, during the seven-year follow-up, had a 26 percent lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease when compared to people who drank fewer than one cup a day.
The study noted that women seemed to get a greater benefit from the tea than men, as the risk of death from cardiovascular disease was reduced by 31 percent in women who drank more than five cups of green tea a day.
"The most important finding is that green tea may prolong people's lives through reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease," said lead researcher Dr. Shinichi Kuriyama.
"The rate of heart disease in Japan is already one of the lowest in the world, and the Japanese diet is believed to play a substantial role in keeping this low," she said. "The average American diet contains more saturated fat than the average Japanese diet, and our levels of heart disease are relatively high compared with many other countries in the world.
"It is questionable whether drinking the same amount of green tea a day in the US would have a significant impact on levels of heart disease," Mason said, adding that subsequent clinical trials would be needed to prove whether green tea can prevent deaths from heart disease.
"I reach the exact opposite conclusion," said Mike Adams, a consumer health advocate and creator of the HerbReference.com website. "If green tea can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease in Japanese people who already have excellent cardiovascular health, the herb may be even more beneficial in Westerners who don't follow heart-healthy diets," he said. "Americans have more room for improvement."
For more information on the health benefits of Green Tea go to: Green Tea and your health - part 2