Is green tea good for your bones?

Drinking tea, especially green tea, has been found by researchers to be good for maintaining bone strength, and reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke and Parkinsons disease.

Scientists at the National Cheng Kung University Hospital in Tainan, Taiwan, found that habitual tea drinking over several years preserves bone density in both men and women. The scientists propose that the high fluoride content in tea, is responsible for these health benefits.

Green tea has especially high levels of fluoride. In addition to fluoride, other ingredients such as flavonoids and phytoestrogen may also help preserve bone density. Also ingredients in tea may inhibit bone resorption and boost metabolic creation of bone.

Conclusion:  Habitual tea consumption, especially for more than 10 years, has significant beneficial effects on BMD of the total body, lumbar spine, and hip regions in adults.

The researchers believe it is not the amount of tea a person drinks that counts, but how long they have been a regular drinker. The effect was most pronounced in the bones of people who had drank tea regularly for more than a decade.

Caffeine may weaken bones

However, other ingredients within tea, such as caffeine, may actually weaken bones and reduce overall health.

The research was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, a journal published by the American Medical Association.


Epidemiological Evidence of Increased Bone Mineral Density in Habitual Tea Drinkers” by Chih-Hsing Wu, MD; Yi-Ching Yang, MD; Wei-Jen Yao, MD; Feng-Hwa Lu, MD; Jin-Shang Wu, MD; Chih-Jen Chang, MD. Arch Intern Med. 2002;162(9):1001-1006. doi:10.1001/archinte.162.9.1001.

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