For those who enjoy a cup of coffee or green tea, there’s good news: drinking them regularly may help reduce the risk of stroke.
In a new Japanese study, researchers gathered data about 83,269 adults between the ages of 45 and 74. They asked the participants about their green tea and coffee habits, and they followed their medical records for thirteen years.
They collected information about strokes and other causes of death. After they adjusted the results for age, gender, smoking habits, and other factors, they found that those who drank coffee or green tea regularly were significantly less likely to have a stroke.
The participants who drank at least one cup of coffee or two to four cups of green tea every day ended up having 14 to 20 percent fewer strokes than those who hardly drank any coffee or green tea. Their risk of a certain type of stroke called intracerebral hemorrhage was cut by 32 percent.
“This is the first large-scale study to examine the combined effects of both green tea and coffee on stroke risks,” said study lead author Yoshihiro Kokubo at Japan’s National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center in a press release.
“You may make a small but positive lifestyle change to help lower the risk of stroke by adding daily green tea to your diet.”
Why do the two beverages have this effect? It’s still unclear, but the researchers have some possible explanations.
“The regular action of drinking tea, coffee, largely benefits cardiovascular health because it partly keeps blood clots from forming,” Kokubo explained.
The chlorogenic acid in coffee lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes, which in turn lowers the risk of stroke. The catechins in green tea are antioxidants, and they may also help prevent strokes.
In addition, the researchers found that those who drank green tea also exercised more than those who didn’t.
The research was published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.