| GEO Health|
| Tea, coffee reduce heart disease risk|
| Updated at: 1358 PST, Sunday, June 20, 2010|
LONDON: Researchers found that moderate consumption of both drinks can reduce your chance of death from a heart attack by at least a fifth.
At the same time, it showed that risks for other diseases such as stroke were not increased.
"Our results found the benefits of drinking coffee and tea occur without increasing risk of stroke or death from all causes," said Dr Yvonne van der Schouw, professor of chronic disease at the University Medical Center Utrecht, Netherlands.
For the research her team studied tea and coffee consumption among 37,514 people, and followed the participants for 13 years to monitor heart disease and death.
They found that tea had the biggest impact on heart disease but that all but heavy consumption of coffee was also beneficial.
Those who drink between three and six cups are 45 per cent less likely to suffer coronary problems compared to people who had less than one cup daily, a study found.
And drinking more than six cups was associated with a 36 per cent lower risk of heart disease.
It was good news for coffee drinkers too, with the study saying that a modest intake – two to four cups a day – may lead to a 20 per cent lower risk of heart problems.
The researchers believe that the health benefits are down to antioxidants found in both drinks which remove damaging free radicals from the body.
The team, whose research is published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology: Journal of the American Heart Association, also noted that tea and coffee drinkers have different health behaviours – with more coffee drinkers prone to smoke and have a less healthy diet.
This is the latest research into the relative health benefits of two of the world's favourite beverages.
It has been claimed that they can reduce risks of some cancers, diabetes, stress and even acne.
But they have also been linked to increased rates of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and high blood pressure.
Ellen Mason, Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: “This study adds further weight to the evidence that drinking tea and coffee in moderation is not harmful for most people, and may even lower your risk of developing or dying from heart disease.
“However, it’s worth remembering that leading a healthy lifestyle is the thing that really matters when it comes to keeping your heart in top condition.
“Having a cigarette with your coffee could completely cancel any benefits, while drinking lots of tea in front of the TV for hours on end without exercising is unlikely to offer your heart much protection at all.”