According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), about one in three Americans suffer from high blood pressure, which they call “a serious condition that can lead to coronary heart disease (also called coronary artery disease), heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, and other health problems.” Though many of these people have been diagnosed with the condition, which is also known as hypertension, the NHLBI says that many more have it without being aware of it.
Some of the strategies the NHLBI recommends for reducing the effects of high blood pressure are following a healthy diet, being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, and managing your stress and learning to cope with stress. For tea lovers, and specifically for those who are fond of black tea, there’s something else that might help combat hypertension. According to a recent study, drinking three cups of black tea a day may help to reduce blood pressure as much as two to three points.
The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Western Australia, with results published recently in the Archives of Internal Medicine. While it’s not clear if other types of tea were evaluated, such as green, researchers found that while drinking three cups of black tea a day for six months test subjects saw a small drop in their blood pressure, while members of a control group saw a slight rise in their blood pressure.
While the reduction in blood pressure is not comparable to what someone might experience with blood pressure lowering medication, the implications of the study are that tea drinking combined with other strategies, including those mentioned above, can be a valuable aid in reducing blood pressure for those already having problems and heading off such issues in people who are not currently suffering from hypertension.
According to Jonathan Hodgson, lead author of the study, “the message really isn’t for an individual to go out and drink a lot of tea.” Which runs counter to the advice that you’d get from yours truly, but of course the message here is that while black tea is a great addition to an anti-hypertension strategy, but it’s hardly the only element of such a strategy.
Disclaimer: This is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your physician for your particular needs.
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