Previous studies have shown that people who consume the highest levels of green tea tend to have lower risks of several chronic degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.
Now, a new study has suggested that drinking green tea and practicing tai chi may promote bone health as well as reduce the risk of inflammation in postmenopausal women.
Researcher Chwan-Li Shen, an associate professor and a researcher at the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women`s Health at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, focused on postmenopausal women and investigated the potential for green tea to work synergistically with tai chi in enhancing bone strength.
She carried out a double-blind, placebo-controlled, intervention trial that involved 171 postmenopausal women who had weak bones but not full-fledged osteoporosis, for six months.
She placed the women into four groups. One group was given a placebo drug and no tai chi, the second was giving green tea pills but no tai chi, the third was given placebo pills but they did tai chi three times a week, while the fourth group had both the green tea pills and did tai chi.
She collected blood and urine samples, and assessed the women`s muscle strength.
The results showed consuming the equivalent of four to six cups of steeped green tea daily and doing tai chi enhanced bone health within three months.
A similar effect was found for muscle strength at the 6-month time point.
Perhaps most remarkable, however, was the substantial effect that both GTP and tai chi had on biological markers of oxidative stress, the main precursor to inflammation.
Participants taking tai chi classes also reported significant beneficial effects in quality of life in terms of improving their emotional and mental health.
Shen concluded that there is a `favourable effect of modest green tea consumption on bone remodeling in this pre-osteoporotic population."
The results were presented as a poster at the Experimental Biology meetings on April 10, 2011.