Live Long, Drink Tea?

Can tea help you live longer? Well, maybe.

Now if that sounds like a cautious statement, well, it’s because it is. If you do a Google search for tea and longevity, for example, you’ll find any number of claims – some of them quite “creative” and a few that stretch the boundaries of belief – for the miraculous powers of tea to ward off just about any ill and to postpone our inevitable shuffle off of this mortal coil. Which reminds one of the old dictum that if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

Japanese Sencha

Dubious claims and hysterical hype aside, though, there is compelling evidence that tea drinking ain’t so bad for you after all. We’ve reported on these claims numerous times within these pages, but what about this notion that drinking tea can help promote longevity? Well, it seems rather obvious that any benefits tea might have on health are going to contribute to long life, but there’s at least one study that zeroes in specifically on this particular idea.

The study took place in Japan, fittingly, since tea and specifically green tea are a deeply entrenched part of the culture there. Researchers there took a look at 40,000 subjects from age 40 to 79 who started out with no serious health problems such as stroke, heart disease or cancer.

Research was carried out over the course of 11 years, with the green tea consumption patterns of participants being monitored throughout the course of the study. Researchers found that those subjects who drank more green tea were less likely to die of any cause over the course of the study. If you’ve ever wondered whether you might be drinking too much green tea you might be heartened to know that those who drank more than five cups of the stuff every day were least likely to die.

So live long and prosper, tea lovers.

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