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Green Tea Increases Life Expectancy


Updated: July 22, 2008

Green Tea

Green Tea

Akira Kaede / Getty Images
Japanese researchers analyzed data from a National Cohort Study that began in 1994 and had over 40,000 participants, age 40 to 79, who began the study free of stroke, heart disease and cancer. The people were followed for up to 11 years and data concerning their cause of death and green tea consumption was analyzed. The findings might explain part of the reason that the Japanese live longer than people of any other country.

The people who drank more green tea were less likely to die from all causes and cardiovascular disease. The effect was stronger for women than it was for men. For both men and women, the more tea that a person drank, the less likely they were to have died from cardiovascular disease. The group that drank 5 or more cups of green tea each day were the least likely to die over the course of the study. Deaths caused by cancer were not linked to the consumption of green tea.

The Bottom Line

Green tea is good for your heart. Drinking at least one cup a day has a positive effect on your risk of death from cardiovascular disease. It is not known how long a person needs to drink green tea for to get this benefit (remember the study had people drinking green tea daily for up to 11 years). The study did find that the more green tea (up to 5 cups a day) a person drinks, the greater the protection against heart disease.


Shinichi Kuriyama, MD, PhD; Taichi Shimazu, MD; Kaori Ohmori, MD, PhD; Nobutaka Kikuchi, MD; Naoki Nakaya, PhD; Yoshikazu Nishino, MD, PhD; Yoshitaka Tsubono, MD, PhD; Ichiro Tsuji, MD, PhD. Consumption and Mortality Due to Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, and All Causes in Japan. JAMA. 2006;296:1255-1265.

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