Tea drinkers enjoy possible health benefits, the study suggests

The world is full of tea drinkers. For many, they simply like the taste. But new research suggests that tea could help those who drink it live longer than those who don’t.

Tea is known to contain useful substances known to reduce inflammation. Past studies in China and Japan, where green tea is popular, have suggested different types of health benefits. Now, scientists say black tea can show similar benefits.

Scientists from the National Cancer Institute of the United States conducted the study. They looked at years of collected data on the tea drinking behavior of nearly 500,000 adults in Britain for up to 14 years. Black tea is the most common type of tea in Britain.

Researchers have adapted to the risks that the individual could have in relation to health, living conditions, diet and lifestyle choices, as well as age, race and gender.

FILE – A man examines a sample of green tea at the Tianfu tea shop in Beijing in this undated photo. (REUTERS)

The study found that high tea intake – two or more cups per day – was linked to a moderate benefit: a 9 to 13 percent lower risk of death from any cause than non-tea drinkers.

The research was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Scientists say the reduced risk of death held for study subjects with heart disease. However, the researchers said there was no clear finding related to cancer deaths. The researchers weren’t sure why. But there may have been too few confirmed cancer deaths to measure, said Maki Inoue-Choi, who led the study.

All types of tea, green, black, oolong and white, are produced from the Camellia sinensis plant with different methods.

Tea contains various elements, including polyphenols.

Experts from the US National Institutes of Health say polyphenols are believed to be responsible for the health benefits that have traditionally been linked to tea, particularly green tea.

Green tea is said to improve mental capacity, ease digestive problems and headaches and helping people with weight loss. Green tea has also been studied for possible protective effects against heart disease and cancer.

FILE - Bangladeshi women pluck tea leaves in Neptune's tea garden in Fatikchari, near the port city of Chittagong, on November 1, 1995. (REUTERS)

FILE – Bangladeshi women pluck tea leaves in Neptune’s tea garden in Fatikchari, near the port city of Chittagong, on November 1, 1995. (REUTERS)

The study of British tea drinkers was based on observing people’s behaviors and health. This type of methodology cannot prove cause and effect.

“Observational studies like this always raise the question: Is there anything else in tea drinkers that makes them healthier?” Marion Nestlé said. She is a professor of nutrition studies at New York University.

The study doesn’t offer enough evidence to advise people to change tea behaviors, Inoue-Choi said.

“If you drink one cup one day already, I think it’s good, “he said.” And please enjoy your cup of tea. “

I’m Caty Weaver.

The Associated Press reported this story. Caty Weaver adapted it for VOA Learning English.


Words in this story

inflammation n. a bodily response to injury or disease where heat, redness, and swelling are present

benefit n. a good or useful result or effect

regular v. to change (something) in a minor way to make it work better

Genre n. the state of being male or female

diet n. the food and drink that a person or animal usually eats

digestive adj. related or functioning in the body’s process of transforming food into simpler forms that can be taken and used

cup n. a round container to drink from


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