Green Tea Extracts Linked to
Healthier Bones According To A New Study
Specific Antioxidants, Carotenoids and Phytonutrients Now Recognized For Helping Support Bone & Joint Health.
A new study shows specific natural compounds from Green Tea may lead to stronger bones by promoting bone formation, while also inhibiting bone resorption, which leads to weakening.
The new study looked at three tea compounds called epigallocatechin (EGC), gallocatechin (GC), and gallocatechin gallate (GCG), and found that EGC produced the greatest bone boosting potential.
"Our study has provided the first laboratory evidence on the bone promotion effects of the green tea catechin EGC as was demonstrated by the promotion of osteoblastic differentiation and inhibition of osteoclast formation," wrote researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong report their findings in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Osteoblasts are cells responsible for bone formation, while osteoclasts are cells which break down bone, ultimately leading to resorption and weakening.
The study is consistent with data from epidemiological studies. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Oct. 2007, Vol 86, pp. 1243-1247) reported that bone mineral density levels were 2.8 per cent greater in tea drinkers than non-tea drinkers, suggesting the beverage has the potential to aid in the prevention of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is currently second only to cardiovascular disease in terms of global healthcare burden, according to the World Health Organization. This condition affects nearly 200 million people today but the number of sufferers is expected to increase steadily with growing numbers of elderly living longer, and obesity adding extra strain on bone health.
Green tea contains between 30 and 40 per cent of water-extractable polyphenols, while black tea (green tea that has been oxidized by fermentation) contains between 3 and 10 per cent.
The four primary polyphenols found in fresh tea leaves are epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate, and epicatechin.
EGC was found to stimulate bone mineralization, while simultaneously inhibiting the formation of osteoclasts. The other catechins were found to be less effective;
"The present study illustrated that the tea catechins, specifically EGC, had positive effects on bone metabolism through a double process of promoting osteoblastic activity and inhibiting osteoclast differentiations," explained the researchers.
"Our observations would serve as groundwork for further studies, " they concluded. Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food ChemistryThis article is for informational and educational purposes only; It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.