Health Benefits of Green Tea
A research conducted in Hongkong suggested the potential benefit of green tea to managing and preventing osteoporosis among other bone diseases. As one of the most popular drinks worldwide, people may benefit bone health just be drinking a cup of green tea in a day. The study was headed by Dr. Ping Chung Leung together with his associates from the Institute of Chinese Medicine at the Chinese University in Hong Kong. The report was published in the online resource of Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Some other research have already generated results in regards to the health benefits a green can offer such as:
- Preventing cancer
- Preventing heart diseases
However, this is the first study suggesting the importance of green tea intake in regards to improving bone health. Based on the published report, chemicals found in green tea improve bone health by stimulating the formation and slowing down bone breakdown.
Osteoblasts are the cells that make bones. Osteoclasts on the other hand are cells that causes bone destruction. To maintain a dynamic and normal metabolic system, a balance between bone formation and resorption should be maintained. This homeostatic balance is delicate, and certain factors are needed to maintain it.
To give a light on the effectiveness of green tea,the researchers cultured rat osteoblast-like cells to three catechin chemicals namely epigallocatechin (EGC), gallocatechin (GC), and gallocatechin gallate (GCG). These chemicals chiefly comprise green tea. The researchers found out that EGC, a catechin chemical, is responsible for stimulating the release of the enzyme that promotes about 79% of bone growth.
When EGC is increased, the level of bone mineralization in the cells also boosts up. Hence, the bone is strengthened. it was also discovered that presence of this chemical weakens the bone destruction or resorption by the osteoclasts. This paves way to promoting formation rather than resorption.
Later, the researchers found out how cathechins were producing no negative effects on the bone cells. The following were the findings reported:
- Tea catechins have positive effects on the metabolism of the bones especially EGC. A double process takes place to achieve this balance by osteoblastic activity promotion and osteoclast differentiation.
- Osteoporosis increases the risk of fracture. It is a condition where bone density and quality is decreased.
For the year 2000, about 9 million osteoporotic fracture were diagnosed worldwide. This data is obtained from the Internatonal Osteoporosis Foundation. About 1.6 million of these fractures were located at the hip, approximately 1.7 million at the forearm and 1.4 million at the vertebra. Half of the people affected by the condition were from Europe and America. Most cases were noted to be from the Western Pacific region and Southeast Asia. When gender is considered, the hip fracture is more frequent in women than men except in China.
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