photo of a pot of tea
If you are a smoker, say French researchers, drinking tea could help reduce your risk or death from a range of causes

Tea helps you live longer – even if you are a smoker

2 September, 2014

Natural Health News — Most people know that drinking tea has heart benefits. Now scientists say it can reduce from other causes as well.

“If you have to choose between tea or coffee it’s probably better to drink tea” said lead researcher Professor Nicolas Danchin of his study which found that drinking tea reduces death from non-cardiovascular causes – especially in smokers.

The study included 131,401 people aged 18 to 95 years who had a health check up at the Paris IPC Preventive Medicine Centre between January 2001 and December 2008.

Coffee or tea consumption was assessed by a self-administered questionnaire as one of three classes: none, 1 to 4, or more than 4 cups per day.

The French researchers found that coffee drinkers had a higher risk of cardiovascular disease than non-drinkers, particularly if they were also smokers.

Smokers were also more likely to be high coffee drinkers whereas non-coffee drinkers were more physically active, with 45% having a good level of physical activity compared to 41% of the heavy coffee drinkers.

Tea drinkers had the reverse profile of coffee drinkers, having a lower risk of cardiovascular disease than non-tea drinkers. Non-tea drinkers were more likely to be smokers but they were also less likely to be physically active. Physical activity increased with the number of cups of tea per day from 43% in the moderate tea drinkers to 46% in the heavy drinkers.

Overall men tended to be coffee drinkers while women consumers more tea.

A 25% reduction in risk

The study showed that tea drinking lowered the risk of death from causes other than cardiovascular disease by 24% – and the most protective effect was seen in current or ex-smokers, while tea had a neutral effect in non-smokers.”

Speaking at the ESC Congress in in Barcelona, Spain Professor Danchin concluded: “Tea has antioxidants which may provide survival benefits. Tea drinkers also have healthier lifestyles so does tea drinking reflect a particular person profile or is it tea, per se, that improves outcomes – for me that remains an open question. Pending the answer to that question, I think that you could fairly honestly recommend tea drinking rather than coffee drinking and even rather than not drinking anything at all.”