NEW YORK: High consumption of tea protects Asians from cardiovascular diseases and cancer, usually caused by smoking, says a study.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), smoking-related diseases are killing four million people a year worldwide and this number will rise to 10 million a year in the next 25 years.

However, there is a lower incidence of cardiovascular diseases and cancer in Asia because of the high consumption of tea, particularly green tea, found researchers at the Yale School of Medicine.

Bauer Sumpio, the lead author of the study, said he and his colleagues reviewed more than 100 experimental studies about green tea and found that the average 1.2 litres of tea consumed daily by many Asians provides them with anti-oxidant protective effects.

“EGCG is a component found in green tea, which reduces the amount of platelets – small cells in the blood that are responsible for clotting – regulates lipids, and promotes proliferation and migration of smooth muscle cells. These are all factors that reduce cardiovascular disease,” he said.

Reports show that EGCG also prevents the growth of certain tumours.

“The evidence is strong that green tea consumption is a useful dietary habit to lower the risk for, and treat, a number of chronic diseases. However, smoking cessation is certainly the best way to prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer,” said Sumpio.

(By, June06)
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