Tea and Health: Osteoporosis

Black Tea
Black Tea

In the United States, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, this bone disease affects eight million women and two million men. Some 34 million Americans have low bone mass, a condition that places them at increased risk for osteoporosis. According to Osteoporosis Canada, an estimated 1.4 million Canadians also suffer from the disease.

If you’re a tea drinker – good news. There may be some benefits related to osteoporosis. This is according to an Australian study, the results of which were published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study took a look at 275 women between the ages of 70 and 85. It found that those who drank black and green tea on a regular basis had higher bone density in two sections of their hip than study participants who didn’t drink tea. Tea drinkers tended to lose less bone density over a four-year period.

Prior to that, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Arizona took a look at potential links between habitual tea consumption and the risk of osteoporosis. The subjects studied were women aged 50-79 years. The findings of the study suggested a trend of increased total body bone mineral density with tea drinking with no significant association between tea drinking and the risk of fractures at the hip and forearm/wrist.

Another study, the results of which were also published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that older women who drank tea tend to have higher bone density in their spine and thighs. The study was carried out by researchers from Britain’s University of Cambridge School of Medicine. It looked at women aged 65 to 75, 1,134 of whom were daily tea drinkers and 122 who were not. Flavonoids in tea are thought be a contributing factor to these findings.

For a useful overview of additional research on links between tea and osteoporosis, take a look at this summary from Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Institute.

Don’t forget to check out William’s blog, Tea Guy Speaks!

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