The more green tea or coffee people drink, the lower their risk of having a stroke, according to a new study of 82,000 Japanese adults, between the ages of 45 and 74 followed for 13 years. Results were published this month in Stroke:The Journal of the American Heart Association.
The new green tea / coffee study found:
• There was a direct correlation between the amount of green tea consumed and the degree of stroke protection. Those who drank 2 to 3 cups of green tea each day had a 14 percent lower stroke risk while those who consumed 4 cups or more watched their stroke risk fall by 20 percent compared to people who on rare occasions had a cup of green tea.
• Daily coffee drinker had a 20 percent lower risk of stroke compared to people who consumed it occasionally.
• Compared to rare consumers, drinkers who had at least 1 cup of coffee or 2 cups of green tea daily had a 32% lower risk of one specific kind of stroke, an intracerebral hemorrhage, which is when a blood vessel bursts in the brain which can rapidly lead to unconsciousness, brain damage or death. About 13 percent of strokes occur this way.
Researchers took factored out lifestyle consideration like smoking alcohol use, weight, diet, and exercise. This year’s study comes on the heels of one last May published in the New England Journal of Medicine of more than 400,000 adults tracked for more than 14 years that found that coffee drinkers were less likely to die during the study than those who abstained from the brew.
The positive effect of coffee has only recently been found by researchers because earlier studies didn’t factor out cigarette smoking which is very detrimental to longevity. According to Dr. Roy Walford of UCLA Medical School in the anti aging documentary, “Reverse Aging Now,”Smokers end their lives 10-15 years prematurely.
The biological mechanism at work in tea and coffee is still unclear. Antioxidants in green tea, catechins may have an anti-inflammatory effect. In the anti aging documentary, “Reverse Aging Now,” diet guru Dr. Robert Atkins sang the praises of green tea. Chlorogenic acid in coffee could lower stroke risks since it helps fight the onset of type 2 diabetes. Coffee’s protective effect seems to be independent of its caffeine content. Decaf drinkers had the same level of longevity as those who preferred their brew full strength.
This is not a license to drink caffeinated beverages throughout the day. If you consume coffee or tea in the afternoon and find that you have a hard time getting to sleep at night, cut off your caffeine consumption at an earlier hour. If you have high blood pressure, you should likewise limit your intake. Finally there are people who are genetically incapable of processing caffeine. Researchers have isolated a gene, labeled CYP1A2 that allows us to process caffeine which explains why different doses have different effects on different people. If it’s dormant, you could have problems.
Still for most of us, we can have a guilt free green tea or jolt of java now knowing that we’re not harming our health in the process.
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