Adults in Japan who consume higher amounts of green tea have a lower risk of death due to all causes, say scientists. However, there is no link between green tea consumption and a reduced risk of death due to specifically to cancer.

Shinichi Kuriyama, MD, PhD, and colleagues examined the association between green tea consumption and mortality in 40,530 adults (age 40 to 79 years) in northeastern Japan. The participants, who had no history of stroke, coronary heart disease, or cancer at baseline, were followed for up to 11 years.

The researchers found that green tea consumption was inversely associated with death due to all causes and due to specifically to cardiovascular disease (CVD). Compared with participants who consumed less than 1 cup per day of green tea, those who consumed 5 or more cups per day had a risk of all-cause mortality and CVD mortality that was 16% lower (during 11 years of follow-up) and 26 percent lower (during 7 years of follow-up), respectively.
These inverse associations of all-cause and CVD mortality were stronger among women.

The researchers found no significant association between green tea consumption and death from cancer. There were weak or neutral relationships between black tea or oolong tea and mortality.

JAMA – September 13, 2006;296:1255-65.

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