Black or Green, Tea Consumption May Reduce Risk of Ischemic Stroke by 21 Per Cent

Canada is an established tea-drinking country that consumes over 9 billion cups of tea each year.(1) In fact, tea consumption is expected to jump 40 per cent by 2020, as growing consumer interest in health and wellness has led to increasing awareness of tea's functional benefits.(2) Study findings presented today at the American Heart Association's International Stroke Conference (ISC) provides further insight into the many health benefits of tea. Researchers have found that regardless of country of origin or type of tea consumed, the consumption of three cups of
black or green tea per day is associated with an average 21 per cent lower risk of ischemic stroke compared to non tea drinkers.

The meta-analysis pooled nine studies involving 4,378 stroke occurrences from 195,000 individuals. Data was drawn from six countries - China, Japan, Finland, the Netherlands, Australia and the US - with the main outcome of fatal or non-fatal stroke.

Dr. Lenore Arab, PhD, Professor, Department of Medicine and Dept of Biological Chemistry, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, who lead the research program explained, "This Meta analysis suggests that daily increase in consumption to three cups of tea per day could lower the risk of ischemic stroke by 21 per cent. These findings relate to black and green teas but not herbal teas."

Stroke is the second most common cause of death globally, claiming 5.4 million lives per year. It is a major cause of disability and has a significant impact on quality of life. Of the two types of stroke - ischemic and hemorrhagic - ischemic stroke accounts for around 83 per cent of all stroke cases. Stroke is the third-leading cause of death in Canada with more than 50,000 strokes occurring each year, and about 15,000 people suffering from a Transient Ischemic Attack or TIA - an occurrence also known as a "mini-stroke" which is caused by a temporary interruption of blood flow to the brain.(3)

This research was supported by the Lipton Institute of Tea and conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The Lipton Institute of Tea aims to support research that examines the mental and physical health benefits of tea consumption, including hydration, heart disease and cognitive performance.

"In recent years, a body of scientific evidence has shown that regular tea drinking can have an important role in health and wellness," says Douglas Balentine, Ph.D., Lipton Institute of Tea. "This new study provides further support that regular tea drinking may be one of the most actionable lifestyle changes a consumer can make to help maintain heart health."

A full copy of the research study, Green and Black Tea Consumption and Risk of Stroke: A Meta Analysis, will be available online in Stroke at on Thursday, February 19th, 2009 at 8:30 a.m. PST (11:30 a.m. EST).

About the Lipton Institute of Tea
The Lipton Institute of Tea's mission is to promote awareness and understanding of tea, from bush to cup. Research focuses on how tea is made,
its properties and its health benefits. With headquarters in Sharnbrook, UK, the Institute consists of international scientific experts from research
centers located in major tea growing regions - India & Kenya - and in key beverage markets - US, Japan & China. For more info please visit

About Unilever
Unilever's mission is to add vitality to life. We meet everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene and personal care with brands that help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. Each day, around the world, consumers make 160 million decisions to purchase Unilever products.

Unilever, one of the world's largest consumer products companies, adds vitality to life by meeting everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene and personal care. Every day, 160 million people choose Unilever brands to feed their families and to clean themselves and their homes. Unilever is best known in Canada by brands such as Becel(R), Lipton(R), Red Rose(R), Slim-Fast(R), Hellmann's(R), Knorr(R), Breyers(R), Popsicle(R), AXE(R), Vaseline(R), Vim(R), Q-Tips(R), Dove(R), Suave(R), Sunsilk(R), and Degree(R).

Unilever employs almost 1800 people across Canada and generated sales of just over C$1.3 billion in 2007. For more information, visit

(1) Statistics Canada. 2008. Beverage Consumption of Canadian Adults Component of Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003-X. Ottawa.
November 2008. 8 p. 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey.
(accessed February 13, 2009.)
(2) Canadian Food Trends to 2020, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada,\
(3) Heart and Stroke Foundation:

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