Fact or Myth: Tea Lowers Blood Pressure?

This is a FACT.

The link between tea and blood pressure remained tenuous until just this last month, when Chinese researchers published a review of 25 randomized controlled trials in the British Journal of Nutrition. Their examination led them to conclude that over the long term tea lowers blood pressure…and subsequently your risk for heart disease and death!

treatment for dementiaThe Findings

If you’re looking for a quick fix for high blood pressure, tea isn’t the answer, but research shows that when consumed for at least 12 weeks, tea lowers blood pressure. Twelve weeks of tea drinking lowered systolic pressure (the top number that measures the maximum pressure your heart exerts while beating) by 2.6 mmHg, and diastolic pressure (the bottom number that measures the amount of pressure in your arteries between beats) by 2.2 mmHg.

While these reductions in blood pressure might seem minimal, they can have a dramatic impact on your health. Researchers pointed out that a 2.6 decrease in systolic pressure could lower your risk of stroke by 8%, your coronary artery disease mortality risk by 5%, and your all-cause mortality by 4% at a population level.

Green tea performed the best, with black tea coming in a close second, regardless of whether or not the teas were caffeinated.

Tea Time

Previous studies suggest that three or more cups of tea a day should confer blood pressure benefits, as well as safeguard your overall health. For instance, a 2007 study published in the European Journal of Nutrition showed that three or more cups of tea a day lowered the risk of coronary artery disease.

Tea, both green and black varieties, is thought to help protect heart health because it relaxes the blood vessels, which promotes optimal blood flow throughout the body. Tea is also high in antioxidants, which have been linked to all manner of disease protection. In fact, polyphenol antioxidants can comprise up to 30% of the dry leaf weight of green tea…quite a shipment of antioxidants!

To get the most antioxidants out of your cup of tea, brew a high quality tea (either powdered or loose leaf in a satchel) for three to five minutes. Add some lemon, lime, or honey for even more antioxidants and flavor!