You may know that inflammation is the cause of many illnesses, including osteoporosis. And you may know that various drinks high in antioxidants can reduce inflammation. But did you know you can get even better results by combining one of these drinks with an ancient form of exercise?
Recently, Dr Chwan-Li Shen, a researcher at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, made this amazing discovery. But it helped more than inflammation. In fact, when she combined this beverage with the exercise, she found that she could greatly improve both bone health and muscle strength in postmenopausal women.
The beverage she used was green tea; the exercise tai chi. Each had a positive effect on its own, but they were more powerful when used together.
For her double-blind, placebo-controlled study, Shen followed 171 postmenopausal women. All of them had weak bones, but they had not yet developed full-blown osteoporosis. She divided them into several groups. One took a placebo with no tai chi. The second took only green tea extract containing 500 mg of polyphenols. The third group took a placebo with tai chi three times a week. And the fourth group took the combination of green tea polyphenols with tai chi.
Here’s what she found: Those taking the green tea alone and the tai chi alone had enhanced bone health markers at three and six months, and muscle strength improved at the end of six months. But the combination worked even better.
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It didn’t stop there. The individual treatments also reduced markers of oxidative stress, which precedes inflammation. But, again, the combination reduced these markers significantly more. This means that drinking green tea daily and doing tai chi several times a week could reduce the cause of inflammation and improve arthritis, heart disease, and dozens of other conditions.
How much green tea would you need to drink to achieve Shen’s level of polyphenols? Four to six cups. One way to drink this much is to add green tea to your water bottle and sip it throughout the day.
There is, however, another solution. Take green tea extract tablets. Advanced Bionutritionals has a Green Tea Extract with 90% polyphenols. One 750 mg capsule should be all you need to protect your bones and fight inflammation.
Just don’t forget the tai chi. It not only boosted the effectiveness of green tea polyphenols, it improved the emotional and mental health of the study participants who were fortunate enough to use both. You can find DVDs on tai chi if there are no classes at your local gym or yoga studio.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand