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

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. 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. 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!


Contact: Suzanne Price
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Related medicine news :

1. Multi-Award Winning Author Tina Turbin Interviews Special Guest Dr. Peter H.R. Green, M.D. On The Thrive in Balance Radio Show
2. ShopToEarth Brings Eco-Friendly Green Business Plan to New Jersey and Michigan: Free Overview and Training Seminars
4. Oakland Taxicabs Are Going Green!
5. Greenwala and PETCO Announce Healthy Living, Healthy Pet Social Media Campaign
6. AADR awards the 2010 Distinguished Scientist Award to John Greenspan
7. Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
8. E-Cigarette Maker Green Smoke Tells FDA to Back Off!
9. GREENGUARD Environmental Institute Revamps Web Site
10. Greenway Medical Technologies Featured in Health IT Innovators Book
11. OnlyGreen Celebrates First EcoDirector
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/29/2015)... ... November 29, 2015 , ... ProStatic Analog ... effect tool designed specially for Final Cut Pro X. FCPX users ... the easy-to-use modification controls. Destoying and creating chaotic distortion is now quick and ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... ... Trying to relax on a couch can actually be uncomfortable, so an ... due to personal experience with a bad back," he said. , This easy-to-use, versatile ... as increases support. It also makes it easier to eat, do other activities and ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... According to an ... the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia suggested that laws requiring ... injuries. The article explains that part of the reason for the controversial conclusion is ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... the toilets were," said an inventor from Hillside, N.J. "Many people catch diseases ... cover so that individuals will always be protected from germs." , He developed ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Consistent with the ... 2016 Building Better Radiology Marketing Programs meeting will showcase some of the ... 2016, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas with a pre-conference session on a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... 2015 Une nouvelle approche ... Bremachlorin contre le cancer avancé.    ... l,immunothérapie au traitement photodynamique au Bremachlorin contre le ... Une nouvelle approche consistant à combiner l,immunothérapie au ...    Clinical Cancer Research . ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... DUBLIN , Nov. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the "2016 ... by Test, Country Volume and Sales Segment ... Emerging Opportunities" report to their offering. ... the addition of the "2016 Global ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , Nederland, November 26, 2015 ... Een nieuwe aanpak combineert immunotherapie met ... kanker. ) ...      (Photo: ) ... Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum (LUMC) ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: