Scientists from the United Kingdom have made a new discovery about the health benefits of Black Tea, saying a regular consumption of a particular quantity reduces the risk of death.
They made the findings from a study led by Dr. Maki Inoue-Choi of NIH’s National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the United Kingdom, which found a 9-13 per cent lower risk of death among people who drank at least 2 cups of black tea per day than non-tea drinkers.
The team used data on nearly half a million people, ages 40-69, who enrolled in the UK Biobank study and followed participants for a 14-year study period, until early 2020. The results appeared in the September 2022 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.
The participants completed questionnaires covering demographic, lifestyle, and health-related information. This included the number of cups of tea they drank each day.
Genetic data were available for most participants, allowing the researchers to assess whether the associations they found varied with genetic variants that affect how fast people metabolize caffeine. They found that these variants did not affect the associations, nor did drinking coffee. Adding milk or sugar to the tea didn’t change the associations, either.
Dr. Erikka Loftfield, senior author of NCI says, “The results reinforce that tea, including black tea, can be part of a healthy diet.”
However, the researchers caution that the study is observational and cannot prove that tea drinking lowered the risk of death directly. They also did not assess some aspects of tea drinking, such as cup size and tea strength, which may be important. Further study will be needed to determine if and how tea reduces the risk of death.
“People shouldn’t change their tea drinking habits based on this study alone,” Inoue-Choi says. “But if you drink tea already, you may be getting benefits from it”.