Drinking tea may help health later in life

AGE FOTOSTOCK

Here's some good news for tea drinkers - a daily brew has been linked to a longer life.

Drinking black tea is often associated with an array of health benefits, including improved heart and gut health and lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Now, researchers from Edith Cowan University have reported that having a cup of tea each day may help people to have better health late in life.

Following a study of over 880 women with a median age of 80, they found that the participants were far less likely to have an extensive build-up of abdominal aortic calcification (AAC) if they consumed a high level of flavonoids in their diet. AAC is a predictor of cardiovascular risk such as heart attack and stroke as well as late-life dementia.

"Out of the women who don't drink black tea, higher total non-tea flavonoid intake also appears to protect against extensive calcification of the arteries," study lead Ben Parmenter said. "This implies flavonoids from sources other than black tea may be protective against AAC when tea is not consumed."

While flavonoids occur in black and green tea, the naturally occurring substances are also found in apples, nuts, citrus fruit, and berries.

"In most populations, a small group of foods and beverages - uniquely high in flavonoids - contribute the bulk of total dietary flavonoid intake. The main contributors are usually black or green tea, blueberries, strawberries, oranges, red wine, apples, raisins/grapes and dark chocolate," he added. "In other populations or groups of people, such as young men or people from other countries, black tea might not be the main source of flavonoids."

Full study results have been published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.