Drinking green tea reduces heart disease risk: study

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Washington, Jul 3 (UNI) A new study has found that the consumption of green tea rapidly improves the function of (endothelial) cells lining the circulatory system, thus reducing the risk of heart disease.

The study by Dr Nikolaos Alexopoulos and colleagues at the 1st Cardiology Department, Athens Medical School in Greece showed that endothelium-dependent brachial artery dilatation increased significantly after drinking green tea, with a peak increase of 3.9 per cent 30 minutes after consumption.

Green tea, which originates in China but is now consumed throughout the world, is made with pure leaves, and has undergone little oxidisation during processing.

The cardiovascular benefits of all teas - as well as dark chocolate and red wine - are attributed to the flavonoids they contain and their antioxidant activity.

However, investigator Dr Charalambos Vlachopoulos said, flavonoids in green tea are probably more potent antioxidants than in black tea because there has been no oxidisation.

''These findings have important clinical implications,'' said Dr Vlachopoulos.

''Tea consumption has been associated with reduced cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in several studies. Green tea is consumed less in the Western world than black tea, but it could be more beneficial because of the way it seems to improve endothelial function,'' she added.

''In this same context, recent studies have also shown potent anticarcinogenic effects of green tea, attributed to its antioxidant properties,'' Dr Vlachopoulos told the Science daily.

UNI XC RJ AS1418

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