Background: Tea and coffee are the second and third most consumed beverages after water, respectively. The high consumption of these beverages is due to the sensorial properties and effects on psychological and physiological functions, induced by caffeine and many other bioactive components responsible for the protective effects on human health generally ascribed to these beverages.Methods: The goal of this review article is to collect the scientific data obtained from clinical trials published in the last five years on the role of tea and coffee consumption against cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and CVD risk factors such as hypertension, hyperglicemia, and hyperlipidaemia. Results: In normal weight subjects, clinical trials showed that the consumption of tea is inversely associated to CVD risk factors or no association was found. Differently, in overweight subjects, the clinical trials and the metaanalyses showed an inverse correlation between tea consumption and CVDs. As regards coffee, it has long been suspected to be associated to high risk of CVDs. Nevertheless, some recent investigations reported that moderate coffee consumption have no effect or even protective effects against CVDs risk factors. The results of the metaanalyses confirm this trend suggesting that moderate coffee drinkers could be associated to a lower risk of CVDs than non- or occasional coffee drinkers or no association can be demonstrated between coffee consumption and CVDs. Conclusion: Literature data on tea consumption and CVD risk factors support that tea consumption reduces some risk factors especially in overweight people and obese subjects. Therefore, these results seem to suggest that tea could exert a protective effects against CVD development. As regards coffee, the results are controversial and did not allow to draw conclusions. Therefore, further research is needed before definitive recommendations for coffee consumption against CVD development can be made.
Keywords: Cardiovascular diseases, risk factors, tea, coffee, dietary bioactive components, physiological and pharmacological effects.