Tea Flavanoids May Protect Against Atherosclerosis

The Rotterdam Study
Johanna M. Geleijnse, PhD; Leonore J. Launer, PhD; Albert Hofman, MD; Hubert A. P. Pols, MD; Jacqueline C. M. Witterman, PhD

Background: Epidemiological studies have indicated a protective role of dietary flavanoids in cardiovascular disease, but evidence is still conflicting. Tea is the majory dietary source for flavanoids in Western populations. We studied the association of tea intake with aortic atherosclerosis in a general population.

Results: Multivariable analysis showed a significant, inverse association of tea inatke with severe aortic atherosclerosis. The associations were stronger in women than in men. The association of tea intake with mild and moderate atherosclerosis was not statistically significant.

Conclusion: The data provide evidence for a protective effect of tea drinking against severe atherosclerosis, especially in women. Further investigation into the mechanisms that explain the protective effect of tea flavanoids in the cardiovascular system is warranted.

Arch Intern Med. 1999;159:2170-2174