Drinking coffee and/or tea has been associated with a lower risk for so-called all-cause mortality. The National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health and the world’s largest biomedical library, is an extraordinary resource for the public to find reliable health information. Searching for the term coffee consumption on the Library’s website showed a remarkable 5,181 results. Even more remarkable, searching for the term green tea showed 36,045 results.
Coffee consumption has been the subject of 40 scientific studies, included in the PubMed and Web of Science databases, and it’s been well-established that coffee consumption has been associated with decreased mortality. An updated meta-analysis of coffee consumption available on-line from the Library, based on these 40 studies which included 3,852,651 subjects and 450,256 all-cause and cause-specific deaths, disclosed the lowest relative risk was at intakes of 3.5 cups/day for all-cause mortality; 2.5 cups/day for cardiovascular disease, and 2 cups/day for cancer mortality.
The Personal Health columnist, Jane E. Brody, in her most recent column, Wake Up to Good News About Coffee, noted that coffee consumption “has been linked to a reduced risk of all kinds of ailments, including Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, gallstones, depression, suicide, cirrhosis, liver cancer, melanoma and prostate cancer.”
The beneficial properties of green tea, widely know for its anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties, are also well-established. An article, 10 Skin-soothing Super Foods by Michelle Schoffro Cook, in the June/July 2021 issue of Mother Earth News, The Original Guide To Living Wisely included green tea in this list of 10 super foods.
Noting that green tea is popular for its anti-aging and other health-building properties, the food/health writer Michelle Schoffro Cook also pointed out that there’s one more reason to love the beverage: drinking green tea can protect your skin from UV damage largely due to a potent plant nutrient called epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, which helps destroy skin-damaging free radicals. Cook writes that free radicals react with healthy cells in the body, causing damage, so lessening their numbers can help reduce skin wrinkling and other damage.
Further, an observational study published earlier this year noted that one simple act may provide an additional benefit in recovery from a heart attack or stroke: drinking green tea or coffee. The study, the Japan Collaborative Cohort Study involved 46,213 participants, including 478 stroke survivors and 1,214 with Myocardial Infarction (MI).
But this observational study (so causality cannot be determined) noted further that the effect of coffee drinking was smaller and not significant for stroke survivors. The study’s conclusion: Green tea consumption can be beneficial in improving the prognosis for stroke or MI survivors, whereas coffee consumption can also be so for persons without a history of stroke or MI as well as MI survivors (but not stroke survivors).
(Frank W. Barrie, 6/16/21)