Research suggests that antioxidant compounds in green tea may help to reduce the risk of stroke.
A high intake of green tea may lower a person's risk of having a stroke, new research suggests.
Japanese scientists looked at the impact of green tea and coffee consumption on the risk of stroke in more than 83,000 adults, aged 45 to 74 years.
Participants provided information on their dietary habits and were followed for an average of 13 years.
The researchers found that the more green tea or coffee a person drank, the lower their risk of stroke.
Among people who drank two to three cups of green tea per day, the risk of having a stroke was reduced by 14 per cent, while four daily cups lowered the likelihood of a stroke by 20 per cent.
Green tea consumption was also found to be associated with a significant reduction in the risk of intracerebral haemorrhage, where a blood vessel inside the brain bursts and bleeds.
A regular daily cup of coffee was also found to lower the risk of stroke.
The findings still held true after known risk factors for stroke - such as age, smoking, alcohol, weight, diet and physical activity levels - had been taken into account.
Publishing their findings in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association, the study authors suggested that drinking green tea or coffee may lower people's chances of having a stroke.
Lead author Dr Yoshihiro Kokubo, from Japan's National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Centre, said: "This is the first large-scale study to examine the combined effects of both green tea and coffee on stroke risks.
"You may make a small but positive lifestyle change to help lower the risk of stroke by adding daily green tea to your diet."
Although the study did not look at the reasons for the apparent link between green tea consumption and protection against stroke, it is thought that the beverage's antioxidant 'catechin' compounds may be involved.
These natural compounds help to boost the levels of antioxidants in the blood, while preventing the formation of blood clots and reducing inflammation.
While the findings are good news for those who drink large amounts of green tea, many people have no desire to consume the amounts required to achieve protection against stroke.
A more palatable alternative could be to consume green tea extract in supplement form, ideally in combination with a host of other antioxidants that work synergistically inside the body, such as those contained in AlphaGuard Plus.
Offered byThe Really Healthy Company, this full-spectrum antioxidant food supplement provides all the potential health benefits of green tea extract, alongside other effective antioxidant nutrients and complexes, including vitamin C, grape seed extract, curcumin, zinc and lycopene.