Health Benefits of Tea? Here’s What the Evidence Says

After my Upshot column on the potential health benefits of coffee,
the No. 1 request I got was to look into the potential benefits — or
harms — of tea.

coffee, tea does not seem to generate negative perceptions. I know many
more people who think that tea is beneficial, much more so than coffee.
(That is, until my coffee column, I hope.)

with coffee, a fairly large number of studies have looked at
associations between tea and health. Most of the studies don’t have the
rigor of randomized control trials and don’t prove causality. But so
many studies were available that I was able to focus on systematic
reviews and meta-analyses, or “studies of studies.”

prospective cohort studies, three retrospective cohort studies and four
cross-sectional studies including more than 800,000 participants have
looked at the association between tea and liver disease.  Those who
drank tea were less likely to have hepatocellular carcinoma, liver
steatosis, liver cirrhosis and chronic liver disease. This confirmed the
findings in a previous systematic review published in 2008.

Tea has been associated with a lower risk of depression. A 2015 meta-analysis
of 11 studies with almost 23,000 participants found that for every
three cups of tea consumed per day, the relative risk of depression
decreased 37 percent.

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