"Most of us have heard of 'good' HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and so called 'bad' LDL (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol). The causes of having high cholesterol levels can occur for a variety of reasons. Genetics, family history, underlying medical conditions, and lifestyle factors including smoking, high alcohol intakes, high body weight, an unhealthy diet and inactive lifestyle all have their own roles to play1.
"One of the first steps when it comes to reducing cholesterol levels is following a healthy, balanced diet2. The good news is that something as simple as tea drinking alongside this can bring it’s own cholesterol-lowering benefits. I often read a lot of meta-analysis papers with inconclusive findings but new work published in Clinical Nutrition, pooling data from ten studies looking at tea drinking and serum cholesterol levels had rather clear findings. It was found that drinking black tea significantly reduced LDL cholesterol levels, with the effect being higher amongst subjects with high cardiovascular risk3.
"So, to me, this is a noteworthy paper, suggesting that tea drinking should be included as part of standard dietary/lifestyle management cholesterol guidance. Whilst I will be updating relevant organisations about this information, we can all play a role in guiding family members or friends at risk or with high cholesterol levels about the simple value of drinking tea."
2 www.diabetes.org.uk/Documents/Position statements/Diabetes UK Facts and Stats_Dec 2015.pdf
3 Zhao Y et al. (2015) Black tea consumption and serum cholesterol concentration: Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Clin Nutr 34(4):612-9.
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