Teas may prevent heart attacks

Cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center conclude that drinking black or green tea may help reduce a potentially harmful constriction of blood vessels after a high-fat meal. Their study adds to a growing body of research that suggests antioxidant-rich foods and beverages may help to prevent heart disease.

“Consumption of a high-fat meal can produce a chemical chain reaction within blood vessels which can temporarily impair their ability to dilate or widen, a normal response to increased blood flow. However, antioxidants seem to prevent this chain reaction,” says University of Maryland Medical Center cardiologist Mary Corretti, MD. “Our study found that drinking tea reduced the negative impact of a high-fat meal on blood vessel function.”

Antioxidants protect cells from potentially damaging by-products created when oxygen is metabolized or used by the body. Antioxidants may reduce the risk of some forms of cancer, heart disease and stroke. Both black and green teas are rich in flavonoid antioxidants.

Source: University of Maryland, March 27, 2002