Black tea may cut heart disease risk

October 16, 2001 in Healthy Eating, Heart Health

Black tea may cut heart disease risk

Drinking black tea may lower the risk of heart disease by preventing the blood from clumping and forming clots, the results of a preliminary study from Australia suggest.

Investigators found that individuals who drank five cups of black tea daily for a month had lower levels of P-selectin, a blood protein associated with coagulation, compared with a month-long period in which they drank equal amounts of hot water.

Sticky blood can more easily form clots, which can block the flow of blood through the body and lead to heart attack. While their findings suggest that lower blood levels of P-selectin may be a mechanism by which black tea can cut the risk of heart disease, it is too soon to make any specific recommendations.

So far the overall weight of evidence suggests that a higher intake of tea--black, oolong or green--is associated with a lower risk of heart disease. A number of studies have linked tea consumption to heart health, probably through compounds known as polyphenols--powerful antioxidants that neutralize disease-causing free radicals. These cell-damaging molecules occur naturally in the body and are linked with aging, cancer and heart disease.

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