Monday, June 21, 2010


I have posted once before the anti-inflammatory effects of coffee, for coffee drinkers. The latest online edition on " Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology " carried an article by the researchers at University Medical Center, Utrecht, Netherlands on the benefits of tea and coffee drinking. They surveyed 37,415 participants and asked them to detailed out their coffee and tea drinking habits, and recorded their rate of heart disease, cardiac mortality and stroke rates after 13 years. They found a linear correlation for tea drinkers. That the more tea you drink, the more benefit, in terms of heart disease prevention and also cardiac mortality. However for coffee drinkers. There was no improvement in cardiac mortality. Also, the beneficial effects for coffee drinkers seemed to be a U-shape effect, meaning that 2-4 cups of coffee is beneficial but more that 4 cups may not be beneficial and maybe potentially harmful. Neither of the beverage, had any effects on strokes. It must be noted that in this survey, there seemed to be very few cardiac deaths and strokes. Too few too make a meaningful conclusion. It is also important to note that in Netherlands, they drink mainly filtered coffee and also black tea. Whether or not having milk in the beverage will have the same benefit, is not so clear. At the end of the day, flavanoids in tea is probably the reason for the benefit and the anti-inflammatory effects of coffee is the other help.
It must however be noted that this is very much an observational, questionaire survey study with all the shortcomings of these kinds of study. Nonetheless, it does give us an idea, especially when seen together other studies in other communities with the same findings.
Of course they are cheaper to conduct.

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