Black tea consumption, as part of a healthy dietary pattern, is linked with better heart function according to a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study design included a total of 4,601 people, aged 45-84 years who were studied for a period of approximately 2 years. Heart function – specifically left ventricular structure and function – were assessed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Commenting on this latest research study, Dr Catherine Hood, a member of the Tea Advisory Panel notes: “This new data is great news for all of us that love drinking tea and also supports previous research regarding the heart benefits that tea has to offer.
“The main findings from this new research reveals that a dietary pattern including foods with a high glycaemic index, high fat meats, cheeses, and processed foods correlated with poor left ventricular function. However, the consumption of black tea and foods such as low fat dairy, fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts, fish and soy were found to help reduce a risk of poor heart function.
“So what the authors found was that a poor dietary pattern was associated with a number of components of the metabolic syndrome. The authors then concluded that this poor dietary pattern was unfavourably associated with Left Ventricular mass and Left Ventricular function and this association may be mediated by metabolic dysfunction.
“As a result, the study demonstrates that the consumption of black tea, in the context of a healthy diet, helps to reduce the risk of poor heart function.”
Dr Hood adds further: “Tea is a national favourite and as well as being a hydrating drink; it continues to demonstrate great health benefits thanks to being high in flavonoids. Flavonoids are thought to control inflammation, reducing thrombosis (excess blood clotting), promoting blood vessel function and helping to limit furring up of the arteries. “
Guest advisor to TAP, Dr Sanjay Prasad from the heart and stroke charity CORDA notes in conclusion: “Several studies suggest that increased tea consumption is associated with reduced cardiovascular disease, including atherosclerosis and vascular event. This new research just published which shows a link between tea helping to reduce a poor heart function adds to the growing body of evidence that indicates tea can play an important role in helping to combat cardiovascular problems such as heart disease and stroke.”
Black tea is the most consumed drink after water with 131,150 tons of tea consumed in the UK in 2006/07. The 2001 National Diet and Nutrition Survey reported that 77 per cent of British adults drink black tea with a mean intake of 2.3 mugs (540ml) per day. Tea drinking is more popular among older consumers and females according to the National Drinks Survey.
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CORDA was founded in 1976 to support clinical research into the prevention of heart disease and stroke using non-surgical methods. They have provided vital funding for the development of ultrasound and other non-invasive techniques used by the researchers at the Institute of Child Health to evaluate cardiovascular disease in the young. In fact, CORDA funded the world’s first cardiovascular magnetic resonance scanner at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) does not involve harmful X-rays. It provides the most powerful pictures of the body without surgery. As a result CORDA has enabled major medical advances in the understanding of the causes and development of heart disease and stroke. To find out more about CORDA log on to www.corda.org.uk.
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