CHICAGO — Longtime tea-drinking may strengthen bones, researchers in Taiwan have found.
The benefits occurred in people who drank an average of nearly two cups daily of black, green or oolong tea for at least six years, said the researchers from National Cheng Kung University Hospital in Tainan, Taiwan.
Their results are published in the May 13 edition of Archives of Internal Medicine.
The findings could have broad public health implications, because fractures associated with bone-thinning osteoporosis and low bone density are a global problem expected to worsen with the predicted increase in the number of older people worldwide.
Some estimates suggest nearly half the U.S. population aged 50 and older is affected by osteoporosis or low bone mass. Tea contains fluoride and chemical compounds known as flavenoids that include estrogen-like plant derivatives — both of which may enhance bone strength, the authors said.