Reducing Stroke Risk With Tea?

heart-150x150I frequently grumble about the exaggerations that various parties make for the health-giving properties of tea. But I don’t necessarily deny that there might be something to this “tea is healthy” notion, and I’ve written my fair share of articles on the topic. I thought for sure I’d covered the potentially beneficial relationship between tea and the risk of stroke, but a glance at the archives here indicates that this is not the case.

A stroke occurs when a clot blocks the blood supply to the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stroke is a leading cause of death in the United States, with over 800,000 people dying here every year from cardiovascular disease and strokes.

As the CDC notes, “you can greatly reduce your risk for stroke through lifestyle changes,” and one of these changes, according to recent research, is to drink three cups of tea a day. Doing so is said to reduce the risk of a stroke by about twenty percent. Rather than doing an original study, the UCLA team who did the research sifted through a number of previous studies on the topic and compiled their findings. While we may be accustomed to green tea getting the lion’s share of the attention in such cases, this time around researchers determined that green or black tea would do just as well at reducing the risk for stroke.

For a layperson’s overview of this study, refer to this recent article from the British press. For an abstract of the study and the option to purchase the full results, look here.

A previous study on tea and stroke was released earlier this year and found that four cups of green tea or one of coffee could also bring about a reduced risk of stroke in the amount of twenty percent. In this case Japanese researchers examined the records of 84,000 Japanese people going back over a 13-year period to arrive at their findings. Results of the study were published in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke. For more details, refer to this release from the AHA that summarizes the results of the study.

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

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