Japanese Study Shows Green Tea Prolongs Life

A study of more than 40,000 men and women in Japan has found that those who drink a lot of green tea live longer.

The beverage was found particularly effective in fighting heart disease but did not reduce the death rate due to cancer, as some earlier animal studies had suggested. Polyphenols -- plant compounds known to be antioxidants -- found in green tea were said to possibly explain the life prolonging benefit it confers.

The 11-year study was conducted in northeastern Japan, a region where 80 percent of the population drinks green tea and more than half drink three or more cups daily.

The study was published in JAMA.