There's Something to Be Said for Having 'Tea Bones'
WebMD News Archive
Though more study is needed, Hegarty suggests that tea has components that
weakly mimic the effect of the female hormone, estrogen -- documented by other
researchers -- and may be important in maintaining bone mineral density in
postmenopausal women. Hegarty writes that tea's attributes may have little
effect in younger women and men but may be important in keeping bones healthy
in older women.
"This research presents some interesting findings," Pamela Meyers,
PhD, tells WebMD. "Most research on teas, especially on green tea, has
looked at its ability to lower risks of cancer and heart disease. This is the
first I have seen that has researched the effects of tea on BMD." Meyers is
a clinical nutritionist and assistant professor at Kennesaw State University
However, says Meyers, she would like to see more complete data on intake of
animal protein, calcium, caffeinated sodas and exercise -- all factors that can
affect bone density. She reminds women that high consumption of protein and
sodas may increase risk of osteoporosis, whereas extra calcium and exercise can
improve bone density. "I would like to see more studies into the [estrogen
effects] of tea, both green and black," she says.
- Scientific research has shown that caffeine consumption increases the risk
of osteoporosis, but a new study shows that tea may actually offer a protective
effect against the disease.
- In a British study, women who consumed tea had significantly greater bone
mineral density when compared to non-tea drinkers.
- Researchers suspect that substances in tea can mimic the effects of
estrogen in protecting bones.