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Green tea cuts fatal illness risk

Drinking green tea can substantially cut the risk of dying from a range of illnesses, a Japanese study has found.

The research, which looked at over 40,000 people, found the risk of fatal cardiovascular disease was cut by more than a quarter.

But British heart experts said the benefits may be linked to the whole Japanese diet, which is healthier than that eaten in the west.

The work is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

    It is questionable whether drinking the same amount of green tea a day in the UK would have a significant impact on levels of heart disease
Ellen Mason, British Heart Foundation

Tea is the most consumed beverage in the world, aside from water.

Three billion kilograms of tea are produced each year worldwide.

Studies carried out in laboratories and on animals have suggested green tea in particular has extensive health benefits.

Women 'greater benefit'

In this study, which began in 1994, researchers from Tohoku University, looked at how humans could benefit.

They examined data on 40,530 healthy adults aged 40 to 79 in north-eastern Japan, where green tea is widely consumed.

Around 80% of people in the region drink green tea, with more than half consuming three or more cups each day.

The people in the study were followed for up to 11 years (1995-2005), when 4,209 people died from all causes.

The researchers also looked at seven years' worth of data (from 1995-2001) to look at deaths from ... continue > 

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Published: 13 September 2006      Ref: BB


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