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Cardiovascular Health Channel
Reported July 29, 2004

Tea Keeps High Blood Pressure Away

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- A new study out of Taiwan suggests drinking tea may keep your blood pressure under control.

Researchers discovered people who drank between 120 milliliters and 599 milliliters of green or oolong tea a day for a year had a 46-percent decreased risk of developing hypertension than those who did not drink tea regularly. People who consumed more than 600 milliliters a day saw even better results. They reduced their risk of getting high blood pressure by 65 percent. The findings held true even after researchers adjusted the data to take other factors that could have led to high blood pressure into account, such as body mass index, cigarette smoking, and family history of the condition.

The study, which appears in this month’s Archives of Internal Medicine, was conducted with around 1,500 adults ages 20 or older who were free of high blood pressure when the study began in 1996. Six hundred of the participants were regular tea drinkers.

The investigators offer a couple of possible explanations as to how tea affects blood pressure. First, they point out tea contains theanine, a substance found to significantly reduce blood pressure in hypertensive rats. Second, they note tea also contains polyphenols, which are known to reduce oxidative stress and have beneficial effects on the vascular system.

Given the high number of people around the world who regularly drink tea -- the beverage is second only to water in annual consumption -- the researchers believe the findings in their study could have a significant public health benefit.

This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: /newsalert/.

SOURCE: Archives of Internal Medicine, 2004;164:1534-1540

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