Drinkers of green tea and oolong tea are less likely to develop high blood pressure than nondrinkers, a Taiwanese study reported.
The risk of hypertension, which can lead to heart disease and stroke, declined the more green or oolong tea was consumed regularly, reported a study by researchers from National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, Taiwan.
Some varieties of tea contain 4,000 chemical compounds, including flavonoids that help protect against heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure, study author Dr. Yi-Ching Yang wrote in the report published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
None of the 1,500 participants suffered from hypertension at the start of the study, and those who drank between 120 and 599 milliliters (4 to 20 fluid ounces) of tea per day for at least a year prior had a 46 percent lower risk of developing high blood pressure than nondrinkers.
Drinking 600 milliliters of tea or more a day lowered the risk of hypertension by 65 percent, the study showed.
About 40 percent of the study subjects were regular tea drinkers, and they were more likely to be younger men who smoked more, drank more alcohol and ate fewer vegetables.
Archives of Internal Medicine, July 26, 2004.