You know how the joke goes, “I’ve got good news, and I’ve got bad news. Which do you want first?” You play the odds . . . shall I take the bad news first, ending on the good . . . or shall I hear the good news first, and phooey on the bad? No matter how you play it, the news will be mixed.

A report, published on line last January, detailed a study conducted by the European Cardiology Association, confirming that tea-drinking has proven cardiovascular benefits. This is very good news for the British, who consume in excess of 165 million cups of tea daily. That’s not a mistake: 165,000,000 cups a day. Unfortunately, the bad news is that most Brits add milk to their black tea, which negates the cardiovascular benefits. The solution is simple: eliminate the milk at least some of time, to do your heart good.

“Research published online in the European Heart Journal has found that the protective effect that tea has on the cardiovascular system is totally wiped out by adding milk.

“Tests on volunteers showed that black tea significantly improves the ability of the arteries to relax and expand, but adding milk completely blunts the effect. Supporting tests on rat aortas (aortic rings) and endothelial (lining) cells showed that tea relaxed the aortic rings by producing nitric oxide, which promotes dilation of blood vessels. But, again, adding milk blocked the effect.”

Keep drinking your tea straight-up, folks. Spread the word!