Drink Green Tea to Strengthen Your Bones

Green tea is a popular beverage consumed by people all over the world. It is also used as a dietary supplement in many regions.

Green tea originated in china. It is made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, which has four varieties – white, green, black and oolong. A host of benefits are attributed to the polyphenols and polychemicals found in green tea.

Green tea leaves are steamed to produce green tea and green tea extract. Traditional Chinese medicine suggests that green tea may be used to treat many kinds of cancers, burn fat, improve muscle endurance, and fight free radicals in the body. In addition to these health benefits, research now suggests that green tea may also help in preventing osteoporosis, and can be a part of its treatment too.

Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones, where bones lose their density to become thin and brittle, thereby increasing the probability of having fractures. Health of the bones is important because weak, undernourished bones can cause or worsen diseases like osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and other bone diseases.

The Effect of Green Tea Component on the Health of Bones:

A study conducted in Hong Kong explored the effects of green tea on the health of bones. The research was reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The research team found that green tea has qualities to stimulate growth of bones and also prevent its breakdown.

A group of bone forming cultured cells, or osteoblasts which make bones, was exposed to three major components of green tea – epigallocatechin (EGC), gallocatechin (GC), and gallocatechin gallate (GCG) – for many days.

It was found that EGC activated the bone mineralization process which helps in increasing the bone strength. One particular EGC heightened the activity of a significant enzyme that promotes the bone growth by up to 79 percent. EGC also reduced the activity of osteoclasts which are responsible for reduction of bone density.

Study on older women

Another study on the effect of green tea on bones was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The research was conducted by Verona M. Hegarty, Ph.D., a geronotology professor at the Cambridge University School of Medicine.

The subjects were 1200 women of age 65 to 79 who lived in Cambridge. They completed questionnaires regarding their general health and life style, their habit of drinking tea and coffee intake, their daily alcohol intake, smoking habits, their daily physical activity regime, whether they used hormone replacement therapy and other habits such as consumption of caffeinated drinks.

The women had to get their bone density measured before and after the study. The study showed that the women who drank green tea regularly had considerably higher bone density than those who did not drink green tea.

The study concluded that the nutrients found in green tea have an effect on osteoporosis in women by reducing agents that are responsible for weakening the bones. The study also suggests that green tea contains components that mimic estrogen, the female hormone which is responsible for maintaining bone density in post-menopausal women.

Dr. Hegarty suggests that green tea may be more important for older women than it is for younger women.

Pamela Meyers, a clinical nutritionist, and assistant professor at Kennesaw State University near Atlanta, says that this must be the first study to research the effects of green tea on bone density. All researches till date have been conducted to see the effect of green tea on different types of cancers and heart diseases.

Green tea consumption and increased bone density proposition requires more research, but it can be safely assumed that green tea does contain components which helps in maintain healthy bones.

So if you have been sipping on a cup of green tea every morning, keeps it going because along with its other health benefits, it may also be good for your bones.

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