Can Green Tea prolong life?

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Many of us work out, eat healthy and get our 8 hours a night in an attempt to be healthy and prolong life. What are the greatest threats to our life? What are the best methods of prolonging life?

What is Mortality?

Simply explained mortality is the recorded number of deaths in a country, otherwise known as ‘death rate’. Mortality looks as preventable and unpreventable causes of death, incidence and prevalence of disease in a country.

  • Incidence is the amount of disease at one period of time.
  • Prevalence is the amount of disease in a population over a greater period of time.

As medicinal knowledge is enhanced many of the unpreventable deaths such as bacterial and viral infections decrease. However, as our dietary health status declines along with our ability to stay active many of the preventable diseases are the ones that cut our lives short.

What are the greatest threats to a long-life in the UK?

The UK is a marginally rich country with good healthcare and adequate food consumption of most. However our 24hour access to food may be our downfall. The following are the top 10 leading causes of death in the UK:

  1. Coronary Heart Disease
  2. Stroke
  3. Lung Cancers
  4. Alzheimer’s Disease
  5. Influenza
  6. Colon-rectum cancers
  7. Breast Cancers
  8. Prostate Cancers
  9. Oesophageal Cancers [1]

Majority of the above causes (excluding influenza and lung cancer) are linked with poor nutrition and excessive greed.

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is one of our greatest battles in modern health. In the UK alone it was responsible for 26-28% of deaths in 2014. Majority of which are preventable. The cause of CHD can be genetic but is almost always caused by poor dietary habits, a sedentary lifestyle and smoking. Smoking is a habit that not only contributes to coronary heart disease but oral, oesophageal and lung cancers. The British Heart Foundation (BHF) found that the risk of CHD mortality is 60% higher in smokers.Activity and regular exercise is thought to contribute to healthy cholesterol and blood lipids. These include a balances ratio of HDL to LDL in the body. High levels of LDLs lead to the onset of disease. One of the greatest contributors of CHD is the diet. A diet rich in saturated fats, trans fats and processing chemicals has been linked to a greater risk. A diet spannning from 2008-10 found that the average intake of fat exceeded 35% of daily energy in both men and women. Furthermore, an average of 30% of people were consuming their daily 5-a-day. As a result this can lead to atherosclerosis (thickening of the artery linings) and hypertension, both causes of CHD [2].

Stroke is the blockage of adequate blood flow to one side of the brain. This often occurs as a result of atherosclerosis. Atheromas are fatty plaques that build up in the lining of the arteries occluding a portion or the whole of the artery. As a result of this the red blood cells are unable to flow free, this can lead them to stick together and clump into a thrombus. Thrombi are not always stable can dettatch and travel around the body. When it meets the narrow widths of the brain vessels it can often block them and prevent blood from flowing.

Cancers, majority of cancers can be accounted for by diet. It has long been a media healthscare headline to state that red meat can cause cancer, and they are not incorrect. Furthermore, excessive alcohol or fat has been shown to increase the risk of liver cancer. A lack of fibre in the diet has also been shown to increase the risk of bowel cancer. Lastly, high levels of fat in the diet and excessive fat mass in the body has been linked with many hormone cancers such a womb, ovarian, and prostate.

What is Green tea and how is it thought to improve life?

Green tea is a drink famed for its therapeutic health properties. Furthermore, it’s EGCG content has left researchers in awe at its ability to aid almost all ailments. Research in Japan was conducted on mortality rates in correlation with green tea consumption. It was a large study of over 90,000 people, over the age of 40. After 18.7 years 12,874 deaths were reported. They found that the mortality ratio due to all causes considered was much higher in those that consumed little or no Green Tea. Whereas for people who consumed the equivalent of 5 cups of five cups a day. This study shows clear evidence that chemical components of green tea can be hugely beneficial to promoting a long healthy life [3]. Another study compared via questionnaire, the consumption of Green compared to the mortality rates They also found that 18% people reported regular consumption of Green Tea. Furthermore, they found that Green Tea significantly reduced the risk of death in all causes, particularly CVD and Cancer [4].

Considering that the UK are subject to a number of preventable deaths there is clear evidence that the population of the UK would greatly benefit from regular consumption of Green Tea. This would do some part in controlling preventable deaths.

  1. World Life Expectancy. (2016).USA vs UNITED KINGDOM: Top 10 causes of death. Available: http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/news/united-kingdom-vs-united-states-top-10-causes-of-death.
  2. BHF. (2012).Coronary heart disease statistics A compendium of health statistics.Available: file:///C:/Users/OV/Downloads/2012_chd_statistics_compendium.pdf.
  3. Saito. E, et-al. (2015). Association of green tea consumption with mortality due to all causes and major causes of death in a Japanese population: the Japan Public Health Center-based Prospective Study (JPHC Study).Annals of Epidemiology. 25 (7), Pg. 512-518.
  4. Lui, J. (2016). Association of green tea consumption with mortality from all-cause, cardiovascular disease and cancer in a Chinese cohort of 165,000 adult men.European Journal of Epidemiology. 31 (9), Pg. 853-865.

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