Drinking three cups of tea a day could beat curse of brittle bones

Just three cuppas a day is linked with a 30 per cent lower risk of breaks. Photo / iStock
Just three cuppas a day is linked with a 30 per cent lower risk of breaks. Photo / iStock

It is the perfect excuse to sit down with a nice cup of tea.

Research shows that tea drinkers have stronger bones, cutting their risk of painful fractures, including broken hips.

Just three cuppas a day is linked with a 30 per cent lower risk of breaks. The Australian researchers said that effect is so big that tea could become a "major addition to the dietary prevention of fracture".

Three million Britons have osteoporosis and brittle bones takes a heavy toll on health. Around 300,000 weakened wrist, hip, spine and other bones are broken each year and 1,150 Britons die each month after breaking a hip. Researchers from the Flinders University of South Australia tracked the health of almost 1,200 women for ten years.

The volunteers, who had an average age of 80 at the start of the study, were regularly questioned about their diet, with an emphasis on how much tea they drank.

During the decade, they suffered 288 breaks, including 129 hip fractures.

But those who drank at least three cups of tea a day were almost a third less likely to break a bone than those who rarely or never consumed tea. It is thought that plant chemicals called flavonoids strengthen the bones by speeding building of new bone cells while slowing down the erosion of existing ones.

Coffee also contains flavonoids, but tea was by far the biggest source of the compounds in the women studied, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports.

Sarah Leyland, of the National Osteoporosis Society, said other research had suggested that drinking tea might help to prevent fractures. "It isn't clear whether this is because tea contains flavonoids or fluoride or something else," she added.

- Daily Mail

- Daily Mail

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