Green Tea Might Improve Bone Health

According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry finds that ingredients in green tea could improve bone health by promoting growth of new bones, and slowing bone destruction.

Researcher Ping Chung Leung and colleagues notes that many scientific studies have linked tea to beneficial effects in preventing cancer, heart disease, and other conditions. Recent studies in humans and cell cultures suggest that tea may also benefit bone health. But few scientific studies have explored the exact chemicals in tea that might be responsible for this effect.

Researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong exposed a group of cultured bone-forming cells (osteoblasts) to three major green tea components — epigallocatechin (EGC), gallocatechin (GC), and gallocatechin gallate (GCG) — for several days.

Scientists found that EGC in green tea, boosted the activity of a key enzyme that promotes bone growth by up to 79 percent. EGC also significantly boosted levels of bone mineralization in the cells, which strengthens bones.

They also showed that high concentrations of ECG blocked the activity of a type of cell (osteoclast) that break down bone minerals, causing decreased bone mass and osteoporosis. They also report that “the green tea components did not cause any toxic effects to the bone cells.”

Researchers from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, the research team administered green tea extract to middle-aged female rats. They found that green tea suppressed bone erosion, enhanced formation of bone, and promoted larger bone volume.

Green tea has been shown to benefit health in a variety of ways that include cancer and heart disease prevention. Green tea is a natural, non-toxic means to better health that could also lead to stronger, healthier bones.

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