5. Green tea may help to improve health of the bones
Osteoblasts and osteoclasts
A study has found that green may help improve the health of the bones. A group of chemicals was discovered in the tea that stimulates the formation of the bone as well as helps slow the breakdown of bone. The researchers suggest that green tea could be a potential treatment for osteoporosis and other diseases of the bone.1✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
A group of lab-cultured bone formation cells known as osteoblasts were exposed to 3 of the main green tea components: gallocatechin gallate (GCG), gallocatechin (GC), and epigallocatechin (EGC) for a few days. EGC was found in particular to boost the activity of an important bone growth promoting enzyme by as much as 79%.
Bone mineralization levels were also significantly boosted in the cells by the EGC, which helps to strengthen the bones. High concentrations of ECG also blocked osteoclast activity, a type of cell that weakens or breaks down bones.
Green tea and tai chi
In another study, researchers concentrated on postmenopausal women which looked at green tea’s potential to work together with tai chi for improving bone strength. Green tea is rich in compounds called polyphenols that are known for their powerful antioxidant activity.2✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
Conducted as a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, this research included 171 postmenopausal women with an average age of 57 years with weak bones but not fully-fledged osteoporosis. They were split into 4 groups:
- Placebo group: a starch pill without tai chi
- GTP group: 500 mg green tea polyphenols daily without tai chi
- Placebo+TC group: a placebo starch pill together with tai chi 3 times a week
- GTP+TC group: 500 mg green tea polyphenols daily together with tai chi
The study duration was 6 months, during which time urine and blood samples were collected and muscle strength evaluated.
The study results revealed that green tea polyphenol consumption at a level comparable to approximately 4-6 cups of brewed green tea daily and taking part in tai chi independently improved bone health markers by 3 and 6 months, respectively. An equivalent effect was seen for muscle strength by 6 months. Significant quality of life benefits were also reported by individuals participating in tai chi classes with regards to improving their mental and emotional health.
Perhaps the most significant finding was the considerable effect that both green tea polyphenols and tai chi had on oxidative stress markers. Because oxidative stress is a major inflammation precursor, this finding indicates that green tea, as well as tai chi, could help in reducing the underlying etiology of osteoporosis, as well as other inflammatory diseases.
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