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Beans in the Belfry

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Green tea for bone health

Drinking green tea regularly and practicing Chinese martial art improves bone strength and reduces inflammation in postmenopausal women.

Previous animal model studies have reported that green tea consumption has a protective effect against the breakdown of the bone’s micro-architecture in female rats.

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center researchers studied 171 postmenopausal women, who had weak bones but not full-fledged osteoporosis, with the average age of 57.

According to the study published at the website of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), consuming the equivalent of four to six cups of steeped green tea daily and doing tai chi enhances bone health within three months.

Tai chi is a mind-body exercise in which slow but gentle movements as well as deep breathing and relaxation are used to build strength and flexibility.

Green tea was reported to have a “substantial effect” on the biological markers of oxidative stress, the main precursor to inflammation, the study found.

The quality of life in terms of their emotional and mental health was also improved in those who participated in tai chi classes.

Researchers concluded that green tea and Tai chi both not only affect the biological markers of oxidative stress and subsequently fight many inflammatory diseases but also help reduce the underlying cause of osteoporosis.

There is a “favorable effect of modest green tea consumption on bone remodeling in this pre-osteoporotic population,” said lead author Chwan-Li (Leslie) Shen.