Osteoporosis is currently one of the most prevalent global healthcare burdens, second only to cardiovascular disease. It is a disease of bone that leads to an increased risk of fracture, generally caused by the reduction of bone mineral density.
While it most commonly affects post-menopausal women, men and women of all ages can be afflicted. Some 200 million people today have osteoporosis, but the number of sufferers is set to increase steadily with the growing number of elderly living longer, and obesity adding an extra strain on bones.
It is clear that osteoporosis can significantly affect life expectancy and quality of life. So what can we do to prevent it? Well, a new study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests that the answer may be just a teacup away!
In one of the first studies to provide laboratory evidence on the bone promotion effects of tea, researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong reported that bone mineral density levels were 2.8% greater in tea drinkers than non-tea drinkers. This is because the compounds found naturally (and abundantly) in tea were found to stimulate bone mineralization (making them more dense), while simultaneously inhibiting the cells that weaken bones.
These findings suggest that tea has the potential to greatly aid in the prevention of osteoporosis.
Yet more good news for tea drinkers!