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Monday, 13 May, 2002, 11:20 GMT 12:20 UK
Tea good for the bones
One way to build strong bones
Scientists have come up with yet more evidence of why tea is good for your health - it helps to keep the bones strong.

The latest research follows recent studies that suggest the popular beverage can help to reduce the risk of cancer, heart attack and Parkinson's disease.

A team from the National Cheng Kung University Hospital in Tainan, Taiwan, fould that habitual tea drinking over several years preserves bone density in both men and women.

The researchers believe that the key could be the high fluoride content in tea, especially green tea.

They believe that other ingredients such as flavonoids and phytoestrogen may also help preserve bone density.

Other ingredients in tea may inhibit bone resorption and boost metabolic creation of bone.

The researchers believe it is not the amount of tea a person drinks that counts, but how long they have been a regular drinker.

The effect was most pronounced in the bones of people who had drank tea regularly for more than a decade.

Contradictory findings

Previous studies have credited polyphenols found in tea with helping prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer.

But other studies have produced contradictory findings on the relationship between tea drinking and bone formation and bone loss.

Ingredients such as caffeine may have a detrimental effect on bones and overall health.

Tea contains 4,000 chemical compounds that can have effects on health.

The study surveyed 497 Chinese men and 540 Chinese women who were at least 30 years old about their tea drinking habits and other lifestyle factors such as exercise, alcohol consumption and smoking.

The research was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, a journal published by the American Medical Association.

See also:

09 Apr 02 | Health
Tea 'could help prevent cancer'
23 Jul 01 | Health
Good news for tea drinkers
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