Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Green tea and tai chi enhance bone health and reduce inflammation in postmenopausal women

Date:
May 9, 2011
Source:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Summary:
There is a favorable effect of modest green tea consumption on bone remodeling in this pre-osteoporotic population.

Cup with green tea, with mint and lemon.
Credit: NataliTerr / Fotolia

C.S. Lewis, the famous author and Oxford academic, once proclaimed "You can't get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." We sip it with toast in the morning, enjoy it with sweets and biscuits in the afternoon, and relax with it at the end of the day. Tea has for generations been an integral infusion worldwide, carrying both epicurean and economic significance. But, does it impart honest-to-goodness health benefits? In other words, is its persistence in the human diet perhaps coincident with enhanced quality (or quantity) of life?

Dr. Chwan-Li (Leslie) Shen, an associate professor and a researcher at the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women's Health at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, is convinced that the answer to this question is a resounding yes -- especially if the tea is of the "green" variety. Green tea, historically consumed in the Orient and now an international mainstay, is chock full of compounds called polyphenols known for their potent antioxidant activity. Dozens of epidemiological (observational) studies have shown that people who consume the highest levels of green tea polyphenols (GTP) tend to have lower risks of several chronic degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. These findings have been followed up with animal studies, including some conducted by Shen, suggesting that the mechanism behind this correlation may have to do with lowering chronic levels of inflammation.

Originally from Taiwan, Dr. Shen has now spent over 2 decades studying how and why some Eastern lifestyle norms (such as drinking green tea) might be beneficial for Westerners as well. For instance, she has developed an animal model (the ovariectomized, middle-aged female rat). With this model Dr. Shen and her team can effectively study the effects of green tea consumption on protection against breakdown of the bone's microarchitecture. In humans, this can lead to osteoporosis, a condition common to older women. It is Dr Shen's hope that what she learns from her animal models might also be applicable to postmenopausal women.

In Shen's most recent research, she focused on postmenopausal women and investigated the potential for green tea to work synergistically with tai chi -- a traditional Chinese form of moderately intense aerobic fitness activity grounded in mind-body philosophy -- in enhancing bone strength.

Carried out as a double-blind, placebo-controlled, intervention trial (the "holy grail" of scientific studies), this experiment involved 171 postmenopausal women (mean age: ~57 y) who had weak bones but not full-fledged osteoporosis.

Subjects were divided into 4 groups:

  • Placebo: starch pill (placebo) and no tai chi
  • GTP: green tea polyphenols (500 mg/day) and no tai chi
  • Placebo+TC: starch pill and tai chi (3 times/week)
  • GTP+TC: green tea polyphenols and tai chi

The study lasted for 6 months, during which time blood and urine samples were collected and muscle strength assessed.

The results show that consumption of GTP (at a level equivalent to about 4-6 cups of steeped green tea daily) and participation in tai chi independently enhanced markers of bone health by 3 and 6 months, respectively. A similar effect was found for muscle strength at the 6-month time point. Participants taking tai chi classes also reported significant beneficial effects in quality of life in terms of improving their emotional and mental health. Perhaps most remarkable, however, was the substantial effect that both GTP and tai chi had on biological markers of oxidative stress. Because oxidative stress is a main precursor to inflammation, this finding suggests that green tea and tai chi may help reduce the underlying etiology of not only osteoporosis, but other inflammatory diseases as well.

Dr. Shen and colleagues concluded that there is a "favorable effect of modest green tea consumption on bone remodeling in this pre-osteoporotic population" and hope to soon complete a more long-term study utilizing more technically savvy measures of bone density.

Perhaps C.S. Lewis was correct -- it's tea time!

The results of this work, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, will be presented as a poster at the Experimental Biology meetings on April 10.

Dr. Chwan-Li Shen (Texas Tech University), Dr. Ming-Chien Chyu (Texas Tech University), Dr. James K. Yeh, Dr. Yan Zhang (Texas Tech University), Dr. Barbara Pence (Texas Tech University), Dr. Carol Felton (Texas Tech University), Dr. Jean-Michel Brismee (Texas Tech University), Mr. Raul Dagda (Texas Tech University), Mrs. Susan Doctolero (Texas Tech University), Mrs. Mary Flores (Texas Tech University), and Dr. Jai-Sheng Wang (University of Georgia) were coauthors on this paper.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Green tea and tai chi enhance bone health and reduce inflammation in postmenopausal women." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110410130827.htm>.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2011, May 9). Green tea and tai chi enhance bone health and reduce inflammation in postmenopausal women. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110410130827.htm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Green tea and tai chi enhance bone health and reduce inflammation in postmenopausal women." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110410130827.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins