Tea for Better Bones

I’m an avid fan of tea, it warms me up on the inside, it’s soothing after a meal, provides a beneficial break in the day, and a cup is relaxing to enjoy before winding down at night.  With all the variety of flavors, types, and blends from green, black, white, oolong, rooibus, etc. it seems that everyone can find a cup of tea that suits them.

Well, here is some interesting news for all of you who love your cup of tea!  An article from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition from 2007 conducted a study on the benefits of tea drinking on bone density in older women (aged 70 to 85 years).  It’s important to maintain bone density to help prevent osteoporosis later in life, along with preventing fractures.  When it comes to optimal bone health, many factors play a role including exercise, smoking, caffeine, calcium, and protein. So how did this commonly consumed worldwide beverage in bone health pan out?

Overall, the tea drinkers had a higher bone mineral density at two different areas of the hip compared to non-tea drinkers.  As this study was done over several years, results also indicated that tea drinkers lost an average of 1.6% total hip areal bone mineral density compared to a 4.0% loss from the non-tea drinkers.

In the end, it’s important to realize that many studies have limitations that have to be taken into consideration such as factors that may have played a role in the outcomes of the study. For example, we don’t know the specific’s of these women’s dietary intake, how the additions of milk or sugar to their tea may affect the results, or mineral intake (magnesium, vitamin D & K) that may affect bone mineral density.

Overall, I think their are plenty of benefits from tea besides some benefits in bone health, inlcuding the high amounts of phytochemicals, flavonoids, catechins, and lignins that tea contain.  With that said, I’m off to enjoy my steaming mug of tea!

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