A Healthy Skeleton Benefits from Green Tea

This is part of our ongoing The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging spotlight. Each day, we will be posting some of the great information that’s packed into our book, The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging.

Today’s topic:
A Healthy Skeleton Benefits from Tea

Several decades ago, several scary articles received a great deal of publicity.16,17 These articles attempted to show that drinking beverages containing caffeine somehow could weaken a woman’s bones. — Wrong! — The real story: three more recent studies proved that the earlier articles had shown that women who drank even large amounts of beverages containing caffeine experienced reductions in bone density only if they also were deficient in calcium or vitamin D!18-20 In fact, research shows that caffeine intake has no effect on bones in anyone at any age.19,20

Drinking at least 2 cups of phytonutrient-packed black or green tea every day enhances bone health and strength. This was shown most powerfully in the 91,465 postmenopausal women who participated in the U.S. government’s Women’s Health Initiative study.21 The results of this study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology make it quite clear that instead of avoiding tea, women who drink at least 2 cups of tea every day can enjoy optimized bone mass throughout their bodies, and especially in parts of the vertebral spine.

Next Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging topic:
Drink Tea to Keep that Belly in Line

16. Ilich JZ, Brownbill RA, Tamborini L, Crncevic-Orlic Z. To drink or not to drink: How are alcohol, caffeine and past smoking related to bone mineral density in elderly women? J Am Coll Nutr 2002;21:536-544.
17. Kiel DP, Felson DT, Hannan MT, Anderson JJ, Wilson PW. Caffeine and the risk of hip fracture: The Framingham Study. Am J Epidemiol 1990;132:675-684.
18. Rapuri PB, Gallagher JC, Kinyamu HK, Ryschon KL. Caffeine intake increases the rate of bone loss in elderly women and interacts with vitamin D receptor genotypes. Am J Clin Nutr 2001;74:694-700.
19. Lloyd T, Rollings NJ, Kieselhorst K, Eggli DF, Mauger E. Dietary caffeine intake is not correlated with adolescent bone gain. J Am Coll Nutr 1998;17:454-457.
20. Lloyd T, Johnson-Rollings N, Eggli DF, Kieselhorst K, Mauger EA, Cusatis DC. Bone status among postmenopausal women with different habitual caffeine intakes: A longitudinal investigation. J Am Coll Nutr 2000;19:256-261.
21. Chen Z, Pettinger MB, Ritenbaugh C, LaCroix AZ, Robbins J, Caan BJ, Barad DH, Hakim IA. Habitual tea consumption and risk of osteoporosis: A prospective study in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Cohort. Am J Epidemiol 2003;158:772-781.

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