The Public Library of Science (PLOS) is a “non-profit open access publisher” which publishes the on-line, peer-reviewed medical journal, PLOS Medicine, which focuses on publishing papers on “diseases that take the greatest toll on health globally.” A research article concerning a cohort study in the UK Biobank, “Consumption of coffee and tea and risk of developing stroke, dementia, and poststroke dementia,” recently published in this on-line journal, includes a finding that both coffee and tea in the diet alone or in combination were associated with a reduced risk of dementia and stroke.
In a post last year, Should Your Morning Beverage Be Green Tea Instead of Coffee?, we spotlighted the health benefits of drinking green tea, noting that when the term “green tea” is searched on the website of the National Library of Medicine (part of the National Institutes of Health) there are a remarkable 36,045 returns!
Of note, was a particular conclusion of a recent observational study, the Japan Collaborative Cohort Study involving 46,213 participants including 478 stroke survivors, that green tea consumption can be beneficial in improving the prognosis for stroke survivors. This study suggested that whereas coffee consumption can be beneficial for persons without a history of stroke or myocardial infarction, as well as survivors of myocardial infarction, there wasn’t a similar association of coffee consumption and stroke survivors.
With the other benefits noted for green tea consumption in our post last year, this coffee lover began to brew up an occasional pot of green tea. But now, after digesting the recent study referenced in PLOS Medicine, brewing up a pot of tea on a daily basis has become appealing.
This recent study found that the combination of coffee and tea consumption was “associated with lower risk of ischemic stroke and vascular dementia.” And, the combination of coffee and tea consumption was associated with a lower risk of poststroke dementia, with the lowest risk of incident poststroke dementia at a daily consumption level of 3 to 6 cups of coffee and tea.
This coffee and tea drinker is pleased to have a couple tea pots in the cupboard for brewing up a daily pot of tea. For purposes of the study in the UK Biobank, tea intake was assessed by asking participants, “How many cups of tea do you drink each day (including black and green tea?” This varied from the Japan Collaborative Cohort Study which focused on the interaction between green tea and coffee. So the question for this coffee and tea drinker now becomes: should it be a pot of green tea or black tea to enjoy on a daily basis?
For certain, it will be organic and loose (not in tea bags) tea leaves used to brew up a pot of tea. Rebekah Rice who serves on the Honest Weight Food Co-op’s Nutrition and Education Committee in a recent Food For Thought: Choices for Tea Drinkers in the food co-op’s monthly Honest Slate, a newsletter for members and staff of the co-op, notes that “many brands of tea bags contain plastic.” Be wary if you’re brewing up a pot of tea using a tea bag! Searching the internet discloses this discussion of tea bag brands that contain plastic on the website Because/Health.
But whether it will be a pot of black or green tea will remain an open question for this imbiber. The Food IQ column in the current issue of Consumer Reports (February 2022) focuses on The Healthiest Tea for You. Thanks to Consumer Reports for its concise description of the four common teas: (1) black tea, (2) green tea, (3) oolong tea (made from green and black tea, but are “partially dried and then rolled gently to allow partial oxidation,” and (4) white tea, made from “young tea leaf buds that are rapidly steamed and dried right after picking.” Check out the column in Consumer Reports which compares “the perks” of the four common teas.
(Frank W. Barrie, 1/28/22)