Harvard Heart Letter

Heart Beat: Black tea and blood pressure

Heart Beat

Black tea and blood pressure

Green tea has gotten a fair amount of attention because of studies suggesting it can help prevent cancer and heart disease. Now it's black tea's turn. Italian researchers showed that drinking a cup or more of black tea daily slightly lowered blood pressure and improved artery flexibility (Journal of Hypertension, April 2009). This doesn't make black tea a health beverage. While the flavonoids and some of the other substances found in black tea are almost certainly good for the heart (not to mention the rest of the body), the effect is small and the evidence limited. If you like tea, savor it as a tasty, soothing beverage; don't drink it as medicine.

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