September 21, 2009
Green Tea Good For Bones?

Some researchers in Hong Kong find chemicals in green tea appear to boost bone growth.

In the new study, Ping Chung Leung and colleagues note 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.

The scientists 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. They found that one in particular, EGC, 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. The scientists also showed that high concentrations of ECG blocked the activity of a type of cell (osteoclast) that breaks down or weakens bones. The green tea components did not cause any toxic effects to the bone cells, they note.

One can't conclude from this one report that green tea will lessen your risks of osteoarthritis or osteoporosis.

Check out this USDA document (PDF format) of flavonoids in foods. Some other foods have catechins such as apples, apricots, blackberries, broad beans, chocolate, raspberries, and tea (both black and green).

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 September 21 10:14 PM  Aging Diet Bone Studies

Allan said at September 22, 2009 8:26 AM:

Are these components just in Green Tea or other teas as well?

kurt9 said at September 22, 2009 12:40 PM:

Want strong bones? Start doing resistive weight training (e.g. body building). Its been known since the early 90's that resistive weight training builds up bone density as a result of piezo-like hysteresis effect. Bones tend to atrophy when not used often.

linden1 said at September 22, 2009 4:47 PM:

Any pills that contain just that one chemical?

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