An article published on August 12, 2015 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition adds more evidence to a protective effect for tea drinking against the development of osteoporotic fractures in women.
The study included 1,188 women over the age of 75 years enrolled in the Calcium Intake Fracture Outcome Study, which evaluated the effect of calcium supplementation in the prevention of osteoporosis. Tea intake was assessed at the beginning of the study and at two and five years. The subjects were followed for ten years, during which 288 women developed an osteoporotic fracture, including 212 major fractures and 129 hip fractures.
Among women whose intake of tea was three cups or higher per day, there was a 30% decrease in the risk of any osteoporotic fracture in comparison with those whose intake was a cup or less per week. Subjects whose flavonoid intake from tea and foods was among the highest one-third of subjects had risks of osteoporotic fracture, major osteoporotic fracture and hip fracture that were 35%, 34% and 42% lower than those whose intake was among the lowest third. When individual flavonoids were analyzed, higher consumption of flavonols, flavan-3-ols and flavones was significantly associated with a protective effect against osteoporotic fracture risk.
“The current study found that flavonoid intake was associated with a reduced risk of hip, major, and all osteoporotic fractures in elderly women,” write authors Gael Myers and colleagues. “The major flavonoids found in tea, flavan-3-ols, and flavonols were also associated with a reduced fracture risk, providing evidence for the role of tea flavonoids in promoting bone health.”
“If the 30–40% reduction in fracture risk with higher intake of black tea and specific classes of flavonoids were confirmed, this knowledge would provide a major addition to the dietary prevention of fracture,” they conclude.