Black or green, either way you cut your risk of stroking out of life. Don't want to have half your face drooping when the nerves that instruct it die? Don't want to become a drooler or become confined to a wheelchair? Really you should think about these gruesome outcomes and change your behavior accordingly.
Drinking at least three cups of green or black tea a day can significantly reduce the risk of stroke, a new UCLA study has found. And the more you drink, the better your odds of staving off a stroke.
The study results, published in the online edition of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association, were presented Feb. 19 at the American Heart Association's annual International Stroke Conference in San Diego, Calif.
The UCLA researchers conducted an evidence-based review of all human observational studies on stroke and tea consumption found in the PubMed and Web of Science archives. They found nine studies describing 4,378 strokes among nearly 195,000 individuals, according to lead author Lenore Arab, a professor of medicine in the division of general internal medicine and health services research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
"What we saw was that there was a consistency of effect of appreciable magnitude," said Arab, who is also a professor of biological chemistry. "By drinking three cups of tea a day, the risk of a stroke was reduced by 21 percent. It didn't matter if it was green or black tea."
And extrapolating from the data, the effect appears to be linear, Arab said. For instance, if one drinks three cups a day, the risk falls by 21 percent; follow that with another three cups and the risk drops another 21 percent.
This effect was found in tea made from the plant Camellia sinensis, not from herbal teas.
What I want to know: If one eats a lot of berries and other fruits does one get equivalent compounds (e.g. flavonoids) from them that provide the same benefits?
But after considering factors such as cigarette and alcohol consumption, van Dam and his colleagues found that healthy women who consumed two to three cups of caffeinated coffee a day had, on average, a 19 percent lower risk for any kind of stroke than did women who drank less than one cup a month. Drinking four or more cups a day lowered risk by 20 percent.
Women who drank five to seven cups of coffee a week were 12 percent less likely to have a stroke than were those who downed just one cup a month, the study found.
When the results were stratified by smoking status, women who had never smoked or who had quit and drank four cups of coffee or more had a 43% reduced risk of stroke (RR 0.57, 95% CI 0.39 to 0.84).
The study involved 20,040 men and women aged 40-79 years old who were taking part in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer Study (EPIC). Between 1993 and 1997, participants completed a detailed health and lifestyle questionnaire and underwent a thorough health examination by trained nurses.
Participants scored one point for each of four healthy behaviours: current non-smoking, physically not inactive, moderate alcohol intake (1-14 units per week) and blood vitamin C levels of 50 µmol/l or more, indicating fruit and vegetable intake of at least five servings a day.
An individual could therefore have a total health behaviour score ranging from zero to four, with a higher score indicating more protective behaviour.
Participants were then followed for an average of 11 and a half years. Strokes were recorded using death certificates and hospital discharge data.
There were a total of 599 incident strokes during the follow-up period. After adjusting for other factors that may have affected the results, the risk of stroke was 2.3 times greater in those with a score of zero compared to those with a score of four.
A significantly higher percentage of women scored four compared to men.
The risk of stroke increased in linear fashion with every point decrease in health behaviour score. So, for example, those with a score of two were one and a half (1.58) times more likely to have a stroke than those with a score of four, while those with a score of just one were just over twice (2.18) as likely to have a stroke.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2009 February 22 02:27 PM Aging Diet Heart Studies|