The internet wires have run hot for the last few weeks with information about the recent study by Shinichi Kuriyama of the Tohoko University Graduate School of Medicine in Sendai, Japan, where over a 10 year period 40,000 people in Japan were studied to monitor their daily Green Tea intake. The report has shown some very positive results.
Green Tea is the main tea beverage consumed across Japan, and the 40,000 participants lived in the north of the country, were aged 40 to 79 years and at the start of the research showed no signs or had history of heart disease, stroke or cancer.
Around a quarter of the 40,000 subjects averaged less than one cup a day, while a similar number reported drinking more than five cups, or half a litre, daily.
The researchers began the study in 1994 and tracked the health of the participants for more than a decade. The important thing to remember is that all the participants had been regular Green Tea drinkers for a long period prior to the study.
The number of participants who died from cardiovascular diseases during the period was small – less than 1% of those in each category of Green Tea consumption.
Those who consumed more than five cups of green tea daily had a 26% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than those who consumed less than one cup of Green Tea a day, the researchers found.
The study speculates it is the anti oxidants in Green Tea, called polyphenols which reduce the action of free radicals, the things which damage cells.
Where previous studies have suggested that Green Tea may protect against certain cancers, this study has found no such evidence.
Where cardiovascular disease was concerned the effect of drinking Green Tea was stronger among women than men in the study, probably because men were more likely to be cigarette smokers.
In the studies conclusion it said the apparent protective effect from Green Tea was not likely to be as a result of tea drinkers somehow being more health conscious, since almost all Japanese consume green tea as one of their favorite beverages regardless of their other health habits.
My feeling is that the report shows Green Tea in the positive light that many have held it in for years now. At last we have a long term survey of a large cross section of population which draws some very positive results regarding Green Tea and cardiovascular disease. I am not surprised at the lack of support over the effects of Green Tea on cancer; I personally feel the length of the survey is perhaps not long enough. After all modern science can give you a pill to almost immediately reduce blood pressure and alleviate the probability of stoke and heart attack, but has no instant cure for cancer.
Natures’ remedies are probably just the same. Good natural drinks like Green Tea will help lower tension and blood pressure almost straight away but where cancers grow usually over a long period of time, nature will take a long time to help prevent the disease.
The survey has turned out to be very positive as far as it goes, but I look forward to the longer version which shows further long term benefits of drinking Green Tea.