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Green tea and tai chi enhance bone health and reduce inflammation in postmenopausal women
Date:4/10/2011

o 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 redu
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Contact: Suzanne Price
sprice@nutrition.org
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Source:Eurekalert

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