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- Drinking lots of tea is associated with living longer, according to a new study.
- The study, conducted on over 100,000 Chinese adults, concluded that habitual tea drinkers in the country could expect to live 1.2 years longer than non-tea drinkers.
- The study did not account for diet or lifestyle, and more research needs to be done before making any conclusive statements.
- Check out Insider for more stories on heart disease.
Tea, the second most popular beverage in the world, is a drink beloved by everyone from the Queen of England to rapper Snoop Dogg. It’s perceived as a healthy, beneficial beverage, and there’s evidence that it just might be.
A group of eighteen researchers spent seven years trying to figure out if tea is associated with living longer. The resulting study, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, concluded that habitual tea drinking might be associated with reduced risk of heart disease and longer life expectancy.
Over the course of seven years, researchers used questionnaires to reach the 100,902 Chinese adults in the study, examining examine how much tea they drank and how healthy they were. They found that habitual tea drinkers had a life expectancy 1.2 years longer and had 1.4 years longer of being heart-disease free. Some 32% of participants drank tea more than three times a week and 49% preferred green tea to any other kind of tea.
Weight loss weightloss weight loss programs weight loss foods weight loss tips There’s been a lot of research connecting tea to various health benefits, but no conclusive proof
In recent years, there have been numerous studies on whether drinking tea could be beneficial to your health. These studies have connected tea drinking with weight loss, bone protection, and even battling cancer. Much of the research has involved catechins, flavonoid compounds and natural antioxidants found in tea.
In an editorial released along with the new study, researcher Vanessa Bianconi wrote that “if we consider that tea is the second most consumed beverage worldwide, even mild tea-mediated health benefits at the individual level might translate into significant effects at the population level.”
Translation: while we don’t have enough evidence to make any conclusions about tea, we do know that it won’t hurt you — and may even have some mild health benefits (except for weight loss teas).
That said, there are some caveats to the study. Caroline Apovian, director of Boston Medical Center’s Nutrition and Weight Management Center, pointed out that tea drinkers are already likely living healthy lifestyles, that the people in this study did not have a history of heart disease, and that study participants were all Chinese, where there is a very strong tea-drinking culture.
“Are tea drinkers also up partying all night? I don’t think so. So even though it’s a big study with a lot of people they tracked for a long time, we have to be careful,” Apovian said to Insider.
Nonetheless, Apovian found the study interesting. “Now I want to see the study authors explore the ‘why’ of how drinking tea could keep you healthier,” she said.