Tea Lowers High Blood Pressure

There are numerous studies that lend credence to a popular idea that tea can help improve heart health. Heart attack and blood pressure are closely related with high blood pressure increasing the risk of heart attack, as well as contributing to other health problems. Tea contains a type of polyphenol compound called catechins. Many teas undergo oxidation of catechins, producing theaflavins. Which, and how much, of each type of compound varies between types of tea.

White teas undergo the least processing, typically being protected from oxidation. The buds are harvested young and they don't go through the drying process that causes other teas to darken. That leaves all the original catechins intact. Green teas undergo slight oxidation and black teas get the most. But each type still has heart health benefits, despite the differing concentrations and forms of polyphenols.

Heart Health - Tea Lowers Blood Pressure

In one six year Dutch study of almost 5,000 men and women, those who drank a little more than a cup and a half per day had a risk of heart attack only two-thirds that of non-tea drinkers. A Japanese study followed over 8,500 men and women for 12 years. It found those who drank at least four cups of green tea per day had about half the risk of coronary disease of non-tea drinkers.

Tea is known to help reduce the formation of the harmful form of cholesterol, LDL. The flavonoids in tea prevent it from oxidizing. That adds to the beneficial effects by decreasing the risk of hardening of the arteries. It isn't only green tea which has heart health benefits either.

Black tea consumption helps reduce blood pressure by reducing the risk of atherosclerosis, which interferes with the ability of blood vessels to relax. Blood pressure measurements in one study were lower among tea drinkers. The risk of hypertension (high blood pressure) were cut in half by consuming just one cup per day. For those who consumed three cups per day, the risk was lowered by two-thirds.

Myocardial infarction is one common form of heart attack. A Harvard study done ten years ago found that a single cup of black tea per day lowered Myocardial infarction risk by 44%, compared to non-tea drinkers.

One study suggests that the mechanism may be, in part, the result of tea's ability to reduce clotting. Participants in the study who drank black tea had lower levels of a blood protein associated with coagulation.

Tea drinking can help those who do suffer a heart attack increase their chances of surviving, according to more than one study. A Boston study of 1,900 people who had heart attacks related their recovery to tea consumption. The more tea they drank, the lower the death rate, 28% lower for those who had at least two cups per week.

The good news is there is no known side effects to moderate daily tea consumption which makes for a smart choice.