What's going on over at JAMA?

What the heck is going on over at JAMA?

JAMA is the Journal of the American Medical Association, and you don’t get any closer to the medical mainstream than that. Nevertheless, JAMA editors published a new study last week that highlights the heart health benefits of green tea.

This may not seem amazing, given that there have been approximately two zillion green tea studies conducted over the past decade. But if you go to JAMA’s web site, choose the search feature, and plunk in “green tea” for a search of study abstracts (which go back to 1975), you’ll get exactly one study.

This one: Researchers at the Tohoku University School of Medicine in Japan analyzed tea drinking habits and 11 years of medical records for more than 40,000 subjects over the age of 40 who lived in northeastern Japan. At the outset of the study, none of the subjects had a history of cancer, stroke or heart disease.

Results showed that those who drank more than five cups of green tea each day lowered their risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) by more than 15 percent, compared to subjects who averaged less than one cup each day. And the results were even more impressive when the data for women alone were isolated: Those who drank more than 5 cups each day reduced their CVD risk by more than 30 percent.

Results also showed that green tea consumption had no effect on cancer rates. No link between a lower risk of cancer or CVD was found among those who drank black tea and oolong tea.

“Green Tea Consumption and Mortality Due to Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, and All Causes in Japan” Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 296, No. 10, 9/13/06, jama.ama-assn.org