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  • Drinking Tea and the Prevention of Arthritis and Osteoporosis

    Much research has been done into the health implications of tea consumption. This research has linked tea with the prevention or lowering of risks of many conditions such as cancer, diabetes and obesity.

    It is thought that the main components that are responsible for these important health benefits are the antioxidant polyphenols that they contain. Black teas mainly contain antioxidant flavonols and theaflavins; green teas mainly have antioxidants called catechins. In addition to the above mentioned conditions drinking tea is thought to have other benefits including an increased bone mineral density in women and a role in the reduction in the risk of arthritis.

    Drinking Tea and Osteoporosis

    Osteoporosis is known as the silent disease as many people do not realise that they have it until they have it, normally after receiving a fracture. It is a condition that is a result of a lowering of bone density, resulting in thinner and weaker bones. There are many treatments and preventative measures that can be took to combat osteoporosis.

    Osteoporosis fracture areas
    Typical osteoporosis fracture areas, image by xornalcert.

    With regards to tea, studies have shown that tea acts independently in the fight against osteoporosis. A study carried out by Hegarty and colleagues on women aged 65 to 76 found that tea drinkers had a higher bone density than none tea drinkers. Additionally it has been found in Mediterranean women that there is a lower incidence of hip fractures in people over 50; Hip Fractures are often a devastating symptom of the osteoporosis condition).

    Arthritis and Tea Consumption

    Research into green tea extracts has shown that they have an anti-inflammatory impact. It is thought that this is mediated by reducing the amount endopeptidase and other enzymes that are involved in inflammatory control. It is therefore possible, but not proven, that drinking green tea may help in the relief of arthritis.


    Haqqi et al. (1999). Prevention of collagen-induced arthritis in mice by a polyphenolic fraction from green tea. PNAS 96: 4524
    Hegarty et al. (2000) Tea drinking and bone mineral density in older women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 71: 1003 to 1007.
    Johnell et al. (1995). factors for hip fracture in European women: the Mediterranean Osteoporosis Study. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 10: 1802 to 1815.
    Khan and Mukhtar (2007) Tea polyphenols for health promotion. Life Sciences 81: 519 to 533.