Black tea consumption may help lower mortality risk, study finds

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A recent study found that drinking black tea may be associated with a moderately lower mortality rate, with the risk lowest among those who drink two or more cups per day.

The study, published in the journal, Annal of Internal Medicine, was led by Maki Inoue-Choi, PhD, of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. The study’s researchers sought to investigate the association between black tea consumption and all-cause and cause-specific mortality and discover how genetic variation in caffeine metabolism may affect those outcomes.

The prospective cohort study involved 498,043 men and women aged 40 to 69 years old. Each participant filled out a baseline questionnaire from 2006 to 2010. Participants self-reported their tea intake and researchers reviewed their mortality rates during a follow-up 11 years later.

They study’s results showed that those who drank two or more cups of black tea per day had a modestly lower risk of all-cause mortality than those who drank no tea. In addition, greater consumption of black tea led to lower mortality risk of all cardiovascular diseases, ischemic heart disease, and stroke. The researchers found that whether a participant drank coffee did not significantly affect mortality outcomes. Genetic scores from caffeine metabolism also had no significant impact on the study’s findings.  

Researchers concluded that black tea can be a part of a healthy diet and may help lower risk of mortality. The authors also noted that there were limitations in this study as certain aspects of tea intake, like proportion size and tea strength, were not assessed.