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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 Chemistry

Fatmah Azam Ali

Fatmah Azam Ali is a writer and editor of this section. She is a certified health specialist. She has written hundreds of articles on health issues for print and online publications worldwide.

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