Drinking black tea daily keeps heart disease away

April 13th, 2009 - 5:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, April 13 (IANS) Drinking just a cup of black tea regularly may help protect against cardiovascular disease, according to the latest study.
The research, conducted by University of L’Aquila in Italy and supported by Lipton Institute of Tea, is the first to show that black tea consumption does improve blood vessel reactivity, and reduce both blood pressure and arterial stiffness, indicating a notably better cardiovascular health profile.

Relying on 19 healthy men (mean age 33), the researchers assigned participants to one of five prescribed intakes of black tea over five periods lasting one week each.

The caffeine level of each dose was standardised but the dose of tea flavonoids was controlled at levels of 0 (the control dose), 100, 200, 400 and 800 mg of tea flavonoids per day.

A standard cup of black tea contains approximately 100-200 mg of flavonoids, depending on the individual preference of tea making.

During research, participants avoided naturally flavonoid-rich food and drink such as red wine and chocolate to ensure that the results were a true reflection of flavonoid-rich black tea consumption only, said a University of L’Aquila release.

Claudio Ferri, professor and principal study investigator, explained: “Our study demonstrates that commercially available black tea can affect vascular function in normal individuals. We clearly demonstrated that vascular function improvement exerted by black tea starts with one cup per day and further improves by increasing the number of daily cups of tea.”

“Protection of vascular properties, starting with drinking even a single cup of regular, black tea, suggests that black tea can exert cardiovascular benefits in common tea drinkers,” he said.

These findings are slated for publication in The Journal of Hypertension.

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