If you are a regular green tea drinker your chances of dying from cardiovascular disease is probably 25% less than most other people who are not regular drinkers, according to a new study by scientists at Tohoku University, Japan.

The study, which began in 1994, looked at 40,530 adults aged 40-79 in North Eastern Japan - a region where green tea is commonly consumed - three quarters of the people drink green tea regularly, most of them have two or three cups a day. At the beginning of the study none of them had a history of stroke, coronary heart disease, or cancer.

You can read about it in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association).

The researchers monitored these people for 11 for 11 years, during which time 4,209 died. During those 11 years 892 died of cardiovascular disease while 1,134 died of cancer. They found that those who consumed five or more cups of green tea a day were 16% less likely to die from any cause than people who consumed one cup or less per day (during those eleven years). The large green tea drinkers' chances of dying from cardiovascular disease was 26% lower than the one-cup-per-day or less people. No link was found between drinking green tea and higher or lower cancer deaths.

The researchers did find, however, that consuming lots of green tea regularly seems to help women more. Women who drank 5+ cups per day were 31% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease compared to the >1 cup-per-day women.

Team leader, Dr. Shinichi Kuriyama believes the study shows that green tea consumption may prolong a person's life by protecting him/her from cardiovascular disease.

Whether these findings may apply to people with UK/US/Australian diets and lifestyles is unclear. Japan has a much lower incidence of cardiovascular disease than North America, UK and Australia. The Japanese diet is quite different from the UK/N American/Australian one.

"Green Tea Consumption and Mortality Due to Cardiovascular Disease - Cancer, and All Causes in Japan"
The Ohsaki Study
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
JAMA. 2006;296:1255-1265.
Click Here To See Abstract

Written by: Christian Nordqvist
Editor: Medical News Today