freelance journalist, print journalist, online journalist, copywriter, content editor, freelance editor, health and lifestyle, blogger Have another cuppa (it's good for your heart) | Christine Morgan - Journalist
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Well I never. In today’s news there’s a perfect example of why so many people – who aren’t members of the research community, perhaps – find it really difficult to take what the medical researchers say seriously. For the most part, anyway. I of course refer to today’s news story about tea and coffee drinking – which is a very different kettle of fish to yesterday’s story on the dangers of drinking too much tea.

A quick reminder in case you don’t feel like scrolling down to the post under this one: yesterday, a story from researchers from Georgetown University Center in Washington made the headlines, claiming that people who drink lots of tea (four or more cups a day) have a 78 percent increased risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis than those who don’t drink any tea at all. But today’s headlines are all about a different paper, this time published in the eloquently named Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology (a journal of the American Heart Association), which suggests drinking lots of tea or coffee is actually good for you. Or, rather, your heart.

The paper, written by Dutch researchers, found drinking more than six cups of tea a day slashes your risk of heart disease by a third. Hurrah. Not just that, but drinking two to four coffees a day reduces your risk of heart disease too. Double hurrah.

Says Ellen Mason, Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation: “This study adds further weight to the evidence that drinking tea and coffee in moderation is not harmful for most people, and may even lower your risk of developing or dying from heart disease.” Well, not harmful if you ignore yesterday’s story about tea and rheumatoid arthritis, that is (perhaps Ellen didn’t read that particular study – which is fair enough).

I can already hear the groans coming from jaded news readers up and down the land. When will these researchers get their act together and decide once and for all if something’s good for you or not, and when will they stop telling us all what to do (and, specifically, how many cups of tea or coffee we should drink)? Well, in their defence, if there weren’t so many white-coated technicians studying and analysing our lifestyles in minute detail, I simply wouldn’t have anything to write about (and life wouldn’t be half as much fun now, would it?). It is, as they say, a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.

And as I’ve always maintained, for every study out there that says this or that is good/bad for you, there’s another one that says quite the opposite. So what can we take from that, I wonder? Who knows… But one thing I do know, I’m certainly not holding back on the hot beverage consumption. Well, not today anyway.