Two or more cups of tea a day reduced risk of cerebral infarction (a certain type of stroke) by 21 per cent in men who smoke according to a recent study.  

In this study, researchers looked at the relationship between tea drinking and stroke risk in more than 26,000 male Finnish smokers. Tea consumption was assessed at the start of the study using a food frequency questionnaire, and the men were followed up for more than 13 years.

The researchers looked at the relationship between tea drinking and the occurrence of different types of stroke. These included the most common type of stroke known as ‘cerebral infarction’ (caused by a blockage in a vessel supplying blood to the brain), as well as less common forms of stroke including cerebral haemorrhage (caused by leaking of blood into the brain from a damaged vessel) and subarachnoid haemorrhages. The researchers also accounted for the major known risk factors for cardiovascular disease and age.

Commenting on this latest research, Dr Hood from the Tea Advisory Panel notes: “These latest study findings on black tea are interesting.  In a nutshell the study found that when men consumed 2 or more cups of tea a day, they had a 21 per cent reduced risk of cerebral infarction versus those men who did not. There was no significant association between tea drinking and any other forms of stroke including cerebral haemorrhage.”

Dr Hood adds: “The results from this study are consistent with a growing body of evidence which has shown a link between tea consumption and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Tea contains high amounts of polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties and prevent oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Oxidation of LDL cholesterol promotes the formation of atherosclerosis, leading to increased risk of all types of cardiovascular disease including stroke. These beneficial effects of tea on reducing the risk of cerebral infarction are therefore biologically plausible.

In summary, in this large prospective study of male smokers, those drinking 2 or more cups of tea a day significantly reduced their risk of a type of stroke.”

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