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Green Tea and Tai Chi Benefit the Bone Health of Postmenopausal Osteopenic Women
July 28, 2011 -
A study by Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center evaluated the effect of green tea polyphenols(GTP) supplementation and Tai Chi (TC) exercise on serum markers of bone turnover (bone-specific alkaline phosphatase, BAP, and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase, TRAP), calcium metabolism, and muscle strength in postmenopausal osteopenic women.
One hundred and seventy-one postmenopausal osteopenic women were randomly assigned to four groups: (1) placebo (500 mg starch/day), (2) GTP (500 mg GTP/day), (3) placebo + TC (placebo plus TC training at 60 min/session, three sessions/week), and (4) GTP + TC (GTP plus TC training). Overnight fasting blood and urine samples were collected at baseline, 1, 3, and 6 months for biomarker analyses. Muscle strength was evaluated at baseline, 3, and 6 months. One hundred and fifty subjects completed the 6-month study.
Results: Significant increases in BAP level due to GTP intake (at 1 month) and TC (at 3 months) were observed. Significant increases in the change of BAP/TRAP ratio due to GTP (at 3 months) and TC (at 6 months) were also observed. Significant main effect of TC on the elevation in serum parathyroid hormone level was observed at 1 and 3 months. At 6 months, muscle strength significantly improved due to GTP, TC, and GTP + TC interventions. Neither GTP nor TC affected serum TRAP, serum and urinary calcium, and inorganic phosphate.
In summary, this study showed that GTP supplementation and Tai Chi exercise increased bone formation biomarkers and improved bone turnover rate. Tai Chi exercise increased serum parathyroid hormone. GTP supplementation, Tai Chi exercise, and the combination of the two all improved muscle strength in postmenopausal women with osteopenia.
This study is published in the July 2011 issue of Osteoporosis International.





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