Tea raises risk of arthritis

New research has found that drinking four cups of tea a day can significantly increase the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis

There’s nothing quite like putting the kettle on for a cup of tea, but now the great British cuppa is the subject of fierce debate as although there are many benefits to tea drinking, new research has revealed that it may raise the risk of developing arthritis.

Women who drink more than four cups of tea a day are 78% more likely to develop the illness, according to the findings of a US study on more than 76,000 women.

Even just one cup a day raised the risk by a substantial 40%, though surprisingly drinking coffee had no impact.

‘We set out to determine whether tea or coffee consumption, or the methods of preparation of the drinks was associated with an increased risk’ said Professor Christopher Collins, from Georgetown University Medical Centre.

‘It is surprising that we saw such a difference in results between tea and coffee drinkers.’

‘This does make us wonder what it is in tea, or in the method of preparation of tea that causes the significant increase in risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.’

However there are many proven benefits to drinking tea, including a 10% reduced risk of developing ovarian cancer and a significantly reduced chance of developing heart disease and several eye diseases.

Professor Collins said that he did not recommend that people change their tea drinking habits based on the findings.

‘It’s definitely an association but the risk is very small,’ he said.

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