Tea and coffee could be magic elixirs.
Sipping several cups of either beverage--hot or cold--every day appears to offer significant protection against heart disease, according to a 13-year study by researchers at the University Medical Center Utrecht in The Netherlands.
ScienceDaily reports that the study of 40,000 people found the following:
- Those who drink more than six cups of tea daily have a 36 percent lower risk of heart disease, compared with those who drink less than one cup of tea a day.
- Those who drink three to six cups of tea a day have a 45 percent reduced risk of death from heart disease, compared with those who consume less than one cup per day.
- Those who drink two to four cups of coffee a day have a 20 percent lower risk of heart disease, compared with those who drink less than two cups or more than four cups.
- Although not considered significant, moderate coffee consumption slightly reduces the risk of heart disease death, as well as deaths from all causes.
- Neither coffee nor tea consumption affects stroke risk.
"It's basically a good news story for those who like tea and coffee. These drinks appear to offer benefits for the heart without raising the risk of dying from anything else," lead study author Yvonne van der Schouw explained to the BBC News.
But there is one gotcha: Smoking cigarettes or turning into a couch potato could completely cancel all of coffee and tea's health benefits.
"It's worth remembering that leading a healthy overall lifestyle is the thing that really matters when it comes to keeping your heart in top condition," Ellen Mason, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, told the BBC. "Having a cigarette with your coffee could completely cancel any benefits, while drinking lots of tea in front of the TV for hours on end without exercising is unlikely to offer your heart much protection at all."
The study findings were published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
--From the Editors at Netscape