Your morning cups of coffee and green tea may do more than just give you an extra kick of energy -– they may also lower your risk of stroke.
A recent study conducted by Japan’s National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center found that people who drink coffee and green tea daily have a lower risk of stroke than people who rarely consume these beverages. Previous research in this area has been largely limited or inconsistent, according to research published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.
The study followed 83,269 Japanese adults aged 45 to 74 over the course of 13 years. Study participants who drank at least one cup of coffee per day had a 20 percent lower risk of stroke than participants who rarely drank the beverage. Participants who drank two to three cups of green tea a day had a 14 percent lower risk of stroke, and participants who drank four or more cups of green tea daily had a 20 percent lower risk of stroke.
Although the study found that participants who regularly consumed coffee and tea generally had healthier lifestyles than participants who did not, the results still stand, according to Dr. Ralph Sacco, the former president of the American Heart Association.
“People who drank more coffee and tea were more athletic and healthier, but researchers adjusted for that and still found that coffee and green tea lowered their risk of stroke. It is possible that there is another healthy behavior specific to coffee or tea drinkers that also confers lower stroke risk, but we don’t know about it,” Sacco told Huff/Post50.
It is unclear why exactly coffee and green tea lower one’s risk of stroke.
“It is not clear if the main benefit derived from coffee and green tea is caffeine specifically … or another active ingredient in coffee or tea," Sacco said.
While coffee and green tea had a significant impact on one’s risk of stroke, the study found no connection between risk of heart attack and consumption of these beverages. This contrasts with other studies, which suggest that moderate coffee consumption reduces the risk of heart attack. Previous studies have shown the benefits of green tea in connection to heart attack risk.
Sacco emphasized that while consuming green tea and coffee has many benefits, people should not rely on these beverages as their only protection against the risk of stroke.
“I think just drinking coffee or green tea is not enough for the average American to reduce the risk of stroke. It could be helpful, but people should also … not smoke, be physically active and keep a good diet,” Sacco said.
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