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Boning Up on Green Tea

Study:  Green Tea Compounds Build Bones AND Prevents Bone Loss

Study shows that green tea may be help prevent bone loss.

Study shows that green tea may be help prevent bone loss.

I’m no Wall Street tycoon or stockbroker, but if you have any money in the stock market, you might want to diversify your portfolio by investing in green tea.

Every week there seems to be a new study out about its array of health benefits, whether its improving brain power, battling Parkinson’s disease, healing an ailing heart (not a broken heart, mind you, but a heart burdened by poor circulation due to high cholesterol levels), or easing the painful side effects of arthritis.

And a new study from the University of Hong Kong adds to green tea’s catalog of curative powers, as green tea may help prevent bone loss.

Osteoporosis is one of the more common health problems in the world today.  To give you an idea of just how common, it’s second only to heart disease in overall healthcare costs for the estimated 200 million people affected by it.

Researchers discovered its bone-building benefits when they fed lab rats EGC – not to be confused with EGCG – a tea compound and polyphenol that runneth over in green tea (EGC is in other teas as well, like black tea, but in small amounts compared to green tea).  Approximately 30 to 40 percent of green tea is made up of EGC, short for epigallocatechin.

Their analysis indicated that not only did the rats’ bones form more osteoblasts, but fewer osteoclasts formed.  Similar to the variation between stalagmites and stalactites – where one letter makes all the difference – osteoblasts build up bones, while osteoclasts bore away at bones, rendering them more brittle and frail .

The study, published in the online addition of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, is the first of its kind to link green tea consumption to bone building.  And as per usual, more studies on green tea and bone building are scheduled.

As aforementioned, osteoporosis is a huge problem for millions of people, aging women, especially.  And while osteoporosis is a condition almost exclusive to men and women 50 years of age and over (one in three 50 y/o women and one in five 50 y/o men will experience a fracture due to osteoporosis in their lifetime, according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation), young people can and should take action now to prevent future fractures.

Besides “boning” up on green tea, other nutritional prevention measures include keeping alcohol consumption to a minimum (excessive drinking leads to bone loss), supplementing with quality dairy calcium sources (like organic yogurt and raw milk) and quality vegetable sources.  Some of the best sources for calcium include kale, cabbage, watercress, and broccoli.

In addition to vegetables, studies have shown that diets high in protein are associated with a low risk for osteoporosis development.

Finally, exercise is a huge factor in preventing bone loss.  And it doesn’t necessarily have to be weight training or walking.  A 1995 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people who practice tai chi have nearly 50 percent fewer falls than those who don’t and also have greater bone density.  Who knew?

Sources:
iofbonehealth.org
nutraingredients.com

Related Posts

  1. Great Com’bone’ation
  2. Green Tea Associated with Lower Prostate Cancer Risk
  3. Essential Mineral Lowers Osteoporosis Risk by Raising Bone Density, Research Shows
  4. Green Tea: Great for Prostate
  5. Vitamin D Helps Stop Bone Loss Caused by Antiseizure Drugs, Study Concludes
  


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