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Study shows tea may strengthen bones.

TAIWAN - Researchers in Taiwan may have found that tea-drinking over time may strengthen bones, reported the Associated Press recently. The benefits occurred in people who drank an average of nearly two cups daily of black, green or oolong tea for at least six years, said the researchers from National Cheng Kung University Hospital in Tainan, Taiwan.

Tea contains fluoride and chemical compounds known as flavenoids that include estrogen-like plant derivatives. Both may enhance bone strength, the researchers said.

Their study, published in Archives of Internal Medicine, is based on surveys of 1,037 men and women aged 30 and older who were questioned about tea-drinking habits and took bone-mineral density tests. The researchers accounted for other factors affecting bone strength, including gender, age, body-mass index and lifestyle.

The highest overall bone-mineral density was found in people who said they had consumed green, oolong or black tea regularly for more than 10 years; their, hip-bone density was 6.2% higher than in non-habitual tea drinkers. Habitual drinkers for six to 10 years had a hip-bone density 2.3% higher than in non-habitual tea drinkers, said Dr. Chih-Hsing Wu, a co-author. There were no significant differences between tea drinkers of one to five years and non-habitual drinkers. Similar results were found regardless of type of tea consumed.

Previous research on tea-drinking and bone strength is limited and has met with mixed results.
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Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:9TAIW
Date:Jul 20, 2002
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