New Super-study Reveals Drinking Tea Reduces Heart Disease Risk by 1/5th

New Super-study Shows Regular Tea Habit Cuts Heart Disease Risk by 1/5th

It is well known that drinking tea has a whole host of health benefits. A recent study has shown that drinking tea long-term can reduce the risk of heart disease by almost one-fifth. Below, Dr. Carrie Ruxton from the Tea Advisory Panel explains what was learned from the super-study.

A new super-study which combined findings from 20 published studies has discovered a link between regular long-term tea drinking and a 19% reduced risk of dying from heart disease.[1] This comes as good news given that the World Health Organization says cardiovascular disease is the world’s leading cause of death, causing a third of deaths worldwide in 2019.[2]

The meta-analysis, titled Long-Term Consumption of 6 Different Beverages and Cardiovascular Disease–Related Mortality: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies, examined the risk of dying from heart disease when people regularly consumed 6 different beverages over a period of 6-40 years. The beverage types were sugar-sweetened drinks, artificially sweetened drinks, tea, coffee, 100% fruit juice, energy drinks, and alcohol.

Tea came out top for heart health, lowering the risk of death from a heart attack or stroke by 19% and benefiting women and men in similar ways. Coffee drinking reduced mortality risk further—by 37%—but this was only in men, and no beneficial associations were seen in women. As might be expected, the worst types of drinks to have long-term were alcohol and sugar-sweetened drinks, such as fizzy drinks.

Dietitian Dr Carrie Ruxton, from the Tea Advisory Panel, comments, “The results of this new super study show that tea comes top in terms of protecting our hearts and circulation. Previous studies found similar effects but looked at a single point in time, capturing only a snapshot of drinking behaviour. This new study shows the benefits of starting a long-term tea-drinking habit from early adulthood or even childhood”.

For the tea analysis, the researchers combined data from 113,673 study participants who either drank tea on a regular basis or rarely drank tea. Of this group, 3,874 people died from conditions, such as coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease or heart failure during follow up periods ranging from 6-40 years.

When considering what could be behind the heart-health benefits of a caffeinated cuppa, the study’s authors proposed that it could be down to its anti-inflammatory, insulin-sensitising, and polyphenol properties, which can help regulate glucose and cholesterol levels.

As might be expected, alcohol was found to be harmful to heart health, with the researchers finding a link between higher alcohol intake and dying from a stroke in both sexes. The data also showed a connection between high, long-term alcohol consumption and a 32% increase in dying from cardiovascular disease overall.

Perhaps more shockingly, a higher intake of sugar-sweetened drinks was shown to be related to a 31% higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

“The results from this new research bolster the findings of studies looking at short-term links between drinking tea and dying from cardiovascular disease. These have found that every extra daily mug of tea (around 240 mL) cuts our risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 4%,” adds Dr Ruxton.

In contrast, every extra can of sugar-sweetened beverages (around 355 mL) was linked with an 8% increase in the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease when data from 896,005 participants were examined.

The researchers found a lack of data to draw any conclusions in relation to fruit juice or energy drinks.

Dr Ruxton concludes, “This new systematic review and meta-analysis provides further evidence of tea’s power in protecting our heart health. It is particularly important because it considers our drinking habits beyond a single snapshot in time. It’s also encouraging for our nation of tea drinkers to know that we’re doing our hearts a lot of good simply by taking a break to enjoy a brew.”


[1] Bhandari B, Zeng L, Grafenauer S, Schutte AE, Xu X. Long-Term Consumption of 6 Different Beverages and Cardiovascular Disease-Related Mortality: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies. Curr Dev Nutr. 2024;8(3):102095. Published 2024 Feb 8. doi:10.1016/j.cdnut.2024.102095.

[2] WHO, Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) 2021. key facts World Health Organisation 2021.

A father teaching his daughter the importance of drinking teaNew Super-study Reveals Drinking Tea Reduces Heart Disease Risk by 1/5th 2

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