London, Aug 23 : Drinking two or more cups of tea or coffee a day can reduce male smokers' stroke risk, a new research suggests.
The conclusions were drawn from a study of 26,000 male smokers, which revealed that those who regularly drank tea and coffee were 21 per cent less likely to suffer a type of stroke known as a cerebral infarction.
The Finnish study followed the men for more than 13 years and looked at the link between their beverage consumption and occurrence of different types of stroke.
It took into account their age and other factors that affected their risk of heart disease.
"These results suggest that high consumption of coffee and tea may reduce the risk of cerebral infarction among men, independent of known cardiovascular risk factors," The Daily Express quoted the researchers, as saying.
Cerebral infarction is caused by a blockage in a vessel supplying blood to the brain.
Other types of stroke were not found to be affected by tea and coffee intake.
It is not known how tea and coffee would affect the chances of having a stroke in women or non-smokers.
Tea is known to be rich in antioxidants, which help keep down cholesterol levels in the blood.
This in turn helps reduce the risk of all types of heart disease, including stroke.
Dr Catherine Hood, of the Tea Advisory Panel, yesterday welcomed the latest findings and said they underlined the health benefits of drinking tea. "The results are consistent with a growing body of evidence which has shown a link between tea consumption and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease," she said.
"These beneficial effects of tea on reducing the risk of cerebral infarction are therefore biologically plausible," she added.