Green Tea, Coffee May Help You Avoid a 2nd Heart Attack
Initially, participants filled out questionnaires on their diet and other lifestyle habits. By the end of the study, 9,253 people had died.
In general, the researchers found that people who drank moderate amounts of coffee were less likely to die during the study period – especially if they had a history of heart attack. Those who drank two or more cups a day were 39% less likely to die than non-drinkers.
There was a lesser reduction in risk in people without a history of heart problems or stroke.
Meanwhile, green tea seemed protective in stroke and heart attack survivors: the more green tea they drank, the better.
Of course, coffee and green tea lovers may be different from non-drinkers in other ways. Researchers explained a number of alternative explanations – including exercise and eating habits, and whether people smoked or had high blood pressure.
And yet the tea and coffee seemed to be beneficial.
Still, Freeman said there could be other more nuanced things: People who have time in their day for seven cups of tea might have less stress in their lives, for example.
It’s also unclear whether the findings in a Japanese population would generalize to countries with different diets, according to Linda Van Horn, an expert with the American Heart Association.
The tea drinkers in the study tended to eat fish and vegetables healthily, noted Van Horn, who is also a professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago.
These warnings have been made, Van Horn said that specific plant compounds – in the case of green tea, the one called epigallocatechin-gallate – “are increasingly recognized as having important anti-inflammatory cardio-metabolic benefits. . ”
Like Freeman, Van Horn said replacing sugary drinks with green tea would be a wise move. But she also agreed that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains and “good” fats is essential.
The American Heart Association has more on healthy eating.
SOURCES: Andrew Freeman, MD, director, cardiovascular prevention and wellness, and associate professor, National Jewish Health, Denver; Linda Van Horn, PhD, RDN, Professor and Head, Division of Nutrition, Department of Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, and Volunteer Expert, American Heart Association, Dallas; Stroke, February 4, 2021, online
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