green tea healthy for heart

The power of green tea to protect your heart


At a meeting of the American Heart Association next week in Phoenix, Arizona (USA), a research paper will be presented describing an amazingly simple way that might lower your risk of suffering a heart attack—drink a cup of green tea per day.

An observational study conducted by Dr. Elliot Miller and associates from the Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore, USA) will be presented. The results show that people who drink one to three cups of green or black tea daily had a 35% lower risk of having a heart attack or other major cardiovascular event.

The research followed more than 6000 men and women beginning in the year 2000. At the start of the study, all of the participants were free of significant heart disease, and over the next 11 years, the individuals were studied regarding the status of their hearts and vascular system. The researchers noted who in the group suffered a heart attack, stroke, chest pain related to their heart, or died from any type of heart disease.

How green tea helps the heart

Many of the participants also underwent scanning of the blood vessels in the heart, to determine the amount of calcium buildup inside the vessels. This sort of buildup can lead to blockage of blood to a part of the heart, which is what happens in a heart attack. A part of the heart doesn’t receive blood because of the blocked vessel, and that part of the heart muscle will become non-functional. If severe enough, the person might die.

So the less calcium inside your blood vessels the better, and the tea drinkers showed significantly less buildup of calcium than the people who did not drink tea. One thing to note, however, is that this research was a so-called “observational” study, meaning that this research does not prove that it was the tea was responsible for the better heart health—it’s possible that it was another factor.

For example, it might be that people who drink tea are the same ones who exercise a lot, and who eat the lots of fruits and vegetables, and that it was these factors, and not the tea, that made the difference. But the researchers strongly suspect the important factor was the tea itself. Green tea (and to a lesser extent black tea) is full of a variety of antioxidants, which have been shown to promote a healthier heart and blood vessels.

We hope this research might get you to consider having a cup or two of green tea daily to lower your risk of having a heart attack. And beyond the heart, tea has many more health benefits, and those are the subject of our next post, coming soon!

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Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)

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