Drinking several cups of tea or coffee daily appears to cut your risk of heart disease by more than one-third, Dutch researchers have found.
"It's basically a good news story for those who like tea and coffee," said lead researcher Yvonne van der Schouw. "These drinks appear to offer benefits for the heart without raising the risk of dying from anything else."
The study appeared in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, a journal of the American Heart Association.
Researchers followed 40,000 healthy people for 13 years, then compared rates of heart disease with consumption of coffee and tea. They found that participants who drank between three and six cups of tea per day were 45 percent less likely to die from heart disease than those who drank less than a cup a day.
Drinking coffee or larger amounts of tea was also protective against death from heart disease, but not as strongly. People who drank more than six cups of tea a day reduced their risk by 36 percent compared with the low tea-drinking group, while those who drank between two and four cups of coffee daily reduced their risk by 20 percent compared with those who drank either more or less coffee. These effects remained after researchers adjusted for other heart disease risk factors, such as smoking and exercise level.
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