New Study Shows What Sipping Simple Black Tea Can Do To Your Life Expectancy

As an alternative to coffee, some people reach for black tea instead. Whether preferred piping hot or ice cold, an 8-ounce cup of black tea contains as much as 42 milligrams of caffeine, reports Caffeine Informer. Science has shown the potential health benefits that black tea has to offer. Not only is it packed with antioxidants, but black tea may also help boost our metabolism, improve gut health, increase energy levels, support heart health, and prevent the development of cancer (via WebMD). While further study is still required, some research even suggests that black tea may reduce one's chances for diabetes, kidney stones, Parkinson's disease, and high cholesterol.

Adding to this list of potential health benefits, a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows that black tea may also prolong our lifespan. Survey data from nearly 500,000 men and women in the United Kingdom revealed that consumption of tea at least twice daily was linked with a decreased risk for all-cause mortality.

Majority of participants reported drinking black tea

As outlined in the research, all participants were between the ages of 40 and 69 and had completed the UK Biobank's baseline touch-screen questionnaire between 2006 and 2010. Researchers examined the relationship between drinking tea, the risk of all-cause death, and leading causes of death in participants. Falling within this category were stroke, cancer, cardiovascular disease, ischemic heart disease, and respiratory disease. Out of roughly 85% of participants who reported drinking tea regularly, nearly 90% declared black tea as their tea of choice (per Healthline).

Over an average follow-up period of over 11 years, the study team determined that the risk of all-cause death was "modestly" lower in those who drank anywhere from two to 10 or more cups of tea daily compared to those who did not drink tea. These findings continued to hold steady, independent of tea temperature, whether or not participants were also coffee-drinkers, whether or not participants added milk or sugar to their tea, or genetic factors that may influence caffeine metabolism (per Healthline). Researchers did not take into account portion size or tea strength.

Amy Bragagnini, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, lent further evidence to these findings. "Many studies have found that polyphenols found in tea can act as antioxidants in our body," Bragagnini told Healthline. "These can help reduce oxidative damage in our cells and may help lower the risk of several chronic diseases."