High Five It With Green Tea

Green tea polyphenols and tai chi can prevent osteoporosis

(RxWiki News) Green tea - which has been shown to lower the risks for chronic diseases like heart disease and osteoporosis - is a mainstay in many Eastern diets.

A new study shows that green tea combined with tai chi (a type of Chinese exercise practice) can improve bone strength in women.

In a study on post-menopausal women, researchers found that women's bone and muscle strength improved after six months of taking green tea supplements and practicing tai chi. Green tea plus tai chi also had a strong effect on oxidative stress, a condition that leads to inflammation.

"Drinking green tea and practicing tai chi can reduce osteoporosis and inflammatory diseases."

For their study, Dr. Chwan-Li Shen, from Texas Tech University, and colleagues looked at the effects of green tea and tai chi on women with weak bones but who had not fully developed osteoporosis. The 171 post-menopausal women involved in the study were assigned to four groups.

The first group took a placebo and did no tai chi. The second group took 500 mg of green tea polyphenols (the part of green tea with healthy antioxidants) and did no tai chi. The third group took a placebo and participated in tai chi three times per week. The last group took daily green tea polyphenols and participated in tai chi.

Women who consumed green tea polyphenols and did tai chi showed signs of improved bone health after three months and six months.

After six months, they also showed signs of improved muscle strength.

What's more, those who took tai chi classes reported improvements to their emotional and mental health.

Dr. Shen and her team concluded that consuming a moderate amount of green tea can improve bone health in women at risk of developing osteoporosis.

Review Date: 
April 11, 2011