London, November 07 (ANI): Drinking eight cups of tea daily might sound a bit too much for some people, but health experts say the intake can help fight heart disease, improve brain power and also boost longevity.
Independent dietician Dr Carrie Ruxton's research on caffeine at King's College, London, saw her review 47 published studies to reach the conclusion that caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee and cocoa have positive effects on mental function, increasing alertness, feelings of well-being and short-term memory.
Previous studies have already linked the drink's healthy antioxidant properties and high flavonoid content to preventing heart disease and cutting the risk of some cancers.
Ruxton has supported earlier reports by claiming that an optimal intake of 400mg of caffeine a day leads to "key benefits in terms of mental function and heart health".
She assessed three studies, accounting for almost 90,000 patients, to find that drinking four cups of tea or coffee a day reduced chances of cardiovascular disease.
She referred to another study of 26,500 middle-aged smokers, which hinted that men who ingested more than two cups of tea a day pulled down the probability of getting a stroke by 20 percent.
Ruxton insisted that she aimed to "debunk" false beliefs surrounding caffeine.
Moreover, she asserted that people who avoid drinking team might be doing more harm than good.
"People who cut out caffeinated drinks may miss out on the potential health benefits of the compounds they contain," the Daily Express quoted her as saying.
She further suggested that there was "no need" for parents to stop children from drinking tea and coffee.
In fact, she claimed it was better than juice in some regards.
Also, Dr Catherine Hood, of the Tea Advisory Panel, agreed to Ruxton's claims.
She said: "Caffeinated drinks have been unfairly demonised. Black tea, in particular, contains polyphenols, which are natural plant antioxidants.
"These have beneficial effects on many biochemical processes in the body because they protect cells against harmful free radicals.
"Flavonoids are thought to be especially useful, with a number of studies reporting a link between them and lower risk of heart attack." (ANI)