When you think about tea drinking it’s hard not to associate old women playing bridge with it. Whether it’s iced tea in the American South or hot tea in a fine china pot at your Grandma’s birthday – a decent group of old women drink tea. Maybe that’s for good reason – a recent study has found that drinking tea could help your bone health. With Arthritis or even Osteoporosis a major threat to many aging women, adding tea to the equation could really help. A study suggests that tea drinkers have higher bone-mineral density than people who don’t regulary drink tea. Researchers at the University of Cambridge School of Medicine and Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, England, in their experiment, measured the density of the spine, neck and other bones in 1,265 women ages 65 to 76. They were asked about their tea drinking habits: 1,143 women classified as tea drinkers and 122 did not.
Compared to the women who didn’t regularly consume tea, the tea drinkers had significantly greater bone mineral density in all areas studied, except for the neck bone. Researchers say these findings were independent of whether the women smoked, used hormone replacement therapy, drank coffee or added milk to their tea. Despite this recent finding it is still not certain that these flavonoids in tea indeed help with bone density. More tests are needed to determine whether tea indeed was the reason for this result, though it certainly is a step in the right direction.
Statistics from the National Osteoporosis Foundation show 10 million Americans, 80 percent of them women, have osteoporosis and another 18 million Americans have low bone mass, a risk for the disease. With tea not being certain, it is important for women with a small frame, have family history of osteoporosis, or of white or Asian descent, to take healthy precautions against it: like making sure you have a good calcium intake, exercise regularly, and eat foods good for bone health like fruits and vegetables. It also helps to avoid smoking and drinking more than 2 to 3 alcoholic beverages per day. You can find more information at the National Osteoporosis Website.
While it can’t be said to drink tea to prevent Osteoporosis or other issues with bone health, this study is definitely a step in the right direction in terms of what tea can do. With all of these new studies coming out about tea, that extra cup of tea before bed certainly couldn’t hurt.