The study looked at nearly 500,000 men and women aged 40-69 who took part in the UK Biobank, which contains extensive genetic and health information, between 2006 and 2010. The database included information that participants reported on their own tea drinking habits, such as how often and what they added to their cup, according to the study.

Some participants didn’t drink black tea at all, but because the data came from the UK, there were also plenty of people who drank it regularly – and some who drank up to 10 cups a day, the author said. principal of the study, Maki Inoue. -Choi, epidemiologist at the National Cancer Institute in the United States.

The Biobank followed up about 10 years after the original survey, and researchers found that people who drank two or more cups of tea a day in between were less likely to have died from causes such as diseases. cardiovascular disease, ischemic heart disease and stroke, according to the study.

The research is an exciting look at tea drinking habits, but more work needs to be done before recommending dietary changes, said Howard Sesso, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and associate epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s. Boston Hospital. . Sesso did not participate in the study.

“The authors tried to control for other dietary factors, but tea drinkers generally differ from non-tea drinkers in other ways that would likely weaken these results. We really need more randomized clinical trials testing drinking of tea,” Sesso said in an email.

What about milk and sugar?

For many tea drinkers, the process of making their tea is crucial.

What temperature should the water be? Do you take it black? Do you add milk? Sugar? How many?

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If you can’t imagine having your black tea, don’t worry just yet. There was no significant reduction in health benefits for those who added milk or sugar, the study found.

That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the healthiest way to drink tea. Inoue-Choi said health experts strongly encourage limiting sugar and saturated fats like those in milk.

Should we change our consumption habits?

While it’s hard to say for sure from the research conducted so far, Inoue-Choi said there are good reasons why black tea could be so beneficial.

“There are several possible mechanisms,” she said. “Tea is rich in bioactive compounds…they have the potential to decrease oxidative stress and inflammation. This may protect against health conditions such as cancer and heart disease.”

A lot of research has been done on the health benefits of green tea.

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Observational studies, such as one from 2013, suggest it may slow the growth of precancerous legions, while a 2014 study found that green tea consumption is associated with a lower risk of cognitive decline.

Both black tea and green tea come from variations of the same plant, camellia sinensis, but little research so far has looked at the effects of drinking black tea, Inoue-Choi said.

Due to the lack of research, it might not be time to add black tea to your daily routine just yet, she added.

“Our results may reassure people who already drink tea every day, but we don’t recommend deciding whether people start drinking tea or change the amount they drink right now,” Inoue-Choi said.

People shouldn’t rely on the results of a single study for these kinds of changes, she said, and more research is needed to complete the findings.

“This study does not prove that drinking tea reduces mortality, but it does suggest that if you currently drink tea – and in particular black tea, which was the type of tea of ​​choice in the UK – you can continue to do it.” Sesso said.

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