Can drinking tea reduce the risk of death?
Drinking black tea may be associated with a slightly lower risk of death, a cohort study suggests. People who drink two or more cups of tea daily have a lower risk of dying. The study was recently published in the journal Annals of internal medicine.
Tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world. Previous studies have found a link between tea drinking and a reduced risk of death in communities with high consumption of green tea. In contrast, published studies in populations with high consumption of black tea provide inconsistent results.
Using data from the UK Biobank, researchers from National Institutes of Health Conducted a study to examine the relationship of tea consumption to all-cause and specific mortality. They also looked at how quickly individuals metabolize caffeine using common tea additives (milk and sugar), tea temperature, and genetic differences, where the relationships varied.
The UK Biobank includes data on half a million men and women aged 40 to 69 who completed baseline questionnaires between 2006 and 2010. 85% 85% drink tea regularly, 89% drink black tea.
Participants who reported drinking two or more cups of tea per day had a 9 to 13 percent lower risk of death compared to those who drank less. The associations were observed regardless of whether coffee was consumed, whether milk or sugar was added to the tea, preferred tea temperature, or genetic differences in caffeine metabolism. According to the authors, their findings suggest that tea, even in large quantities, can be part of a healthy diet.
Reference: “Tea consumption and all-cause and cause-specific mortality in the UK Biobank” by Maki Inoue-Choi, PhD, Yesenia Ramirez, MPH, Marilyn C. Cornelis, PhD, Amy Berrington de Gonzalez, DP, Neil D. Friedman, Ph.D. and Erica Loftfield, PhD, August 30, 2022; Annals of internal medicine.