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Tea and your heart - a healthy match?

Tea and your heart – a healthy match?

As most of us are probably aware, heart disease is no small problem nowadays. Here in the United States alone the facts regarding this condition are rather eye-opening. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) heart disease is the leading cause of death for both American men and women and was responsible for one in four deaths, or a total of 616,000 deaths in all, in 2008. In 2010, the overall cost of heart disease to Americans was expected to be in the neighborhood of $108.9 billion.

Given all of this, it would be ridiculous to suggest that tea is a miracle cure-all that can wipe out a problem of such considerable proportions. But there is evidence that drinking tea can be of some benefit in this area. Our last report on the links between tea and a reduced risk for heart disease was published here more than two years ago. Here’s a related report on how tea might be of some help in lowering your blood pressure.

More recently there has been additional research on the possibility that tea consumption can help fight against heart disease. A study published in the journal Preventive Medicine found that consuming three cups of tea daily for a period of three months would lead to a considerable reduction in blood sugar levels and the “unhealthy” fats known as triglycerides. The study also found that HDL or “good” cholesterol levels tended to increase. Triglyceride levels fell by about 39 percent in men who took part in the study and about 29 percent for women.

It’s unclear from this study what effect drinking green and other types of tea would have, as the focus here was on black tea with no milk, cream or sugar added. But, as noted in some of the studies mentioned in the previously referenced article, green tea has also been found to have considerable benefits for heart and cardiovascular health. In addition to drinking tea, researcher Dr. Robert Grenfell, of the Heart Foundation Australia, also suggested eating oily fish several times weekly or taking fish oil supplements to help reduce triglyceride levels.

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