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Tea Helps Toughen Older Women's Hips
Date:10/10/2007

Those who drink it daily lose less bone, study finds

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 10 (HealthDay News) -- New Australian research suggests that having a cuppa (tea, that is) may help strengthen older women's hips.

"This study suggests that drinking tea in moderation can actually benefit your bones," said lead researcher Amanda Devine, a senior lecturer in the nutrition program at the School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Science, Edith Cowan University, and adjunct senior lecturer at the University of Western Australia's School of Medicine and Pharmacology, in Perth.

"Those who drank tea in the study had a higher bone density over the four years that they were studied," she said. "These women lost less bone than those who did not drink tea. More than three-quarters of the women drank tea daily, and they consumed on average about three cups per day."

Outside experts called the findings intriguing but still preliminary.

"Some tea may be potentially helpful," said Paul Brandt, an associate professor of neuroscience and experimental therapeutics at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine. "One or two cups of tea a day probably couldn't hurt, but I wouldn't say that it absolutely will help. It's possible that it could prevent some loss."

Prior research has suggested that drinking tea may improve bone mineral density in people at risk for osteoporosis, but the findings are not conclusive. One study found that drinking green tea might help ease the inflammation and pain of rheumatoid arthritis.

Fractures, especially hip fractures associated with osteoporosis, are a major source of disability in postmenopausal women. Osteoporosis causes the bones to become fragile and more likely to break. Although it primarily affects older women, osteoporosis can affect others as well.

The new study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, involved 1,500 elderly (70
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