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Longevity Briefs: Can Green Tea Extend Lifespan?

Posted on 9 February 2021

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Longevity briefs provides a short summary of novel research in biology, medicine, or biotechnology that caught the attention of our researchers in Oxford, due to its potential to improve our health, wellbeing, and longevity.

Why is this research important: Over the years, many studies have linked green tea consumption to various health benefits such as reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. Green tea is rich in antioxidants, molecules that can reduced oxidative stress and inflammation, both thought to be important drivers of ageing.

What did the researchers do: Researchers tracked over 100 000 Chinese adults for an average of seven years to study the relationship between green tea consumption and various health outcomes.

Key takeaway(s) from this research: Those who consumed green tea at least 3 times a week lived on average 15 months longer than non tea-drinkers, and were also around 20% less likely to develop heart disease or stroke. This association was not found for black tea. This may be because the antioxidant content of black tea is lower than that of green tea. It is also possible that black tea is more habitually consumed alongside other dietary components with negative health consequences, which may counter the beneficial effects of black tea.

This study was observational in nature, meaning that it cannot confirm that green tea caused the increase in life expectancy. Previous studies have suggested that those who drink green tea are also more likely to follow healthy lifestyle practices, though the authors of this study attempted to control for such confounders.

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