Green Tea Polyphenols Aid Bone Health

Consuming polyphenols, like those found in green tea, helps postmenopausal women preserve bone density and slow the onset of osteoporosis. Researchers at Texas Tech University Health Science Center report that mature women given daily doses of green tea polyphenols experienced improved bone health. There are 10 million individuals afflicted with osteoporosis in America, four in five are women.

The six-month study of 171 postmenopausal women confirmed the "favorable effect of modest green tea consumption on bone remodeling in this pre-osteoporotic population." Each was given daily vitamin supplement containing 500 miligrams, equivalent of four to five cups of unsweetened green tea. The average age was 57. The women were encouraged but not required to practice tai chi as part of a daily exercise regimen. Tai chi is a mind-body exercise emphasizing slow and gentle movements and deep breathing exercises to build strength, flexibility and help participants relax.

Polyphenols have previously proven effective in arresting bone loss in animal studies according to the journal Osteoporosis International. This class of compounds is an effective antioxidant that neutralizes highly charged ions called free radicals which are known to damage cells and contribute to inflammation.

Of the estimated 2 million broken bones caused in the U.S. each year by osteoporosis, nearly 300,000 are fractures of the hip, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF).

"Researchers, many of whom were involved with both studies, concluded that drinking green tea may be an effective way for postmenopausal women with osteoporosis to slow bone loss and even improve bone mineral density," according to the online resource Endocrine Web.

Source: Endocrine Web