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The Surprising Effects of Green Tea on Bone Health

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Bones & Joints related image Photo: Getty Images

I have become a recent fan of green tea. I have noticed that it helps with my digestion; keeps my acid reflux at bay; and, from what I have been told, the extracts in green tea that are produced in lotion form can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This begs the question: What would happen if we bathed in this stuff every day? Could this be the elixir of all elixirs? I don’t know about that, but many studies suggest that drinking green tea on a regular basis provides a host of benefits physically, including a strong tie to healthy bones.

Hong Kong researchers have reported exciting evidence that green tea, one of the most popular beverages around the world, may contribute to overall bone health. The tea supposedly contains a group of chemicals that stimulate the formation of bone and help to stall its breakdown. As such, green tea can potentially help to prevent and treat osteoporosis and other diseases of the bone that affect countless people all over the world.

In their research, the scientists exposed a group of cultured bone-forming cells, also known as osteoblasts, to three components in green tea: EGC (epigallocatechin), GC (gallocatechin) and GCG (gallocatechin gallate) for several days. What they discovered was that EGC actually boosted the activity of the enzyme that is largely responsible for bone growth by up to 79%! This same component even raised the levels of bone mineralization within the cells, which is activity responsible for strengthening the bones. The study also revealed that great concentrations of ECG even blocked the activity of osteoclasts that are common culprits for breaking down or weakening bones. The best part? The components found in the green tea caused no toxic effects on the cells in the bones. How awesome is that?

When you consider the ill-effects carbonated beverages have on our bones, the surprising refreshment of green tea is a great alternative! For some, it can be an acquired taste, but fortunately it comes in a variety of flavors and you can enjoy it hot or cold. Drink up! Your bones will love you for it!

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.