Researchers at the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, in China, reviewed the association between tea consumption and the risk of coronary artery disease (narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart).
First, the details.
Data from 18 studies were included in this meta-analysis: 13 studies on black tea and 5 studies on green tea.
And, the results.
For black tea, no significant association was found.
For green tea, there was a significant association between the highest green tea consumption and reduced risk of coronary artery disease.
An increase in green tea consumption of 1 cup/day was associated with a 10% decrease in the risk of developing coronary artery disease.
The bottom line?
The authors concluded, “The limited data available on green tea support a tentative association of green tea consumption with a reduced risk of CAD. However, additional studies are needed to make a convincing case for this association.”
The results are based on observational studies. Therefore, an association has been established, but not cause and effect.
More rigorously designed studies will be needed before making that conclusion.
John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.