Green Tea & T’ai Chi – The Perfect Combination ?
‘Green Tea & T’ai Chi’ - ok, so it might be a bit of a tongue twister but this little combo might just do wonders for your health!
Dr Chwan-Li (Leslie) Shen, associate professor and researcher at the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center has spent over twenty years looking at how and why some Eastern lifestyle norms (such as drinking green tea) might be beneficial for Westerners as well.
Green tea is packed full of antioxidant-rich polphenols and is backed by dozens of observational studies attesting to its many health benefits. Many studies have now found that people who consume high levels of green tea tend to have lower risks of many chronic degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.
In this most recent research, Dr Shen focused on postmenopausal women and studied the potential for green tea to work synergistically with t’ai chi, an ancient Chinese exercise grounded in mind-body philosophy in enhancing bone strength.
In this double-blind, placebo-controlled, intervention trial, the researchers recruited 171 postmenopausal women with weak bones which had not yet fully developed into osteoporosis. Study participants were then divided into 4 different groups and assigned different treatment protocols for 6 months :
1) Starch pill (placebo) & no t’ai chi
2) Green tea polyphenols (500mg) & no t’ai chi
3) Starch pill (placebo) & t’ai chi (3 times/week)
4) Green tea polyphenols (500mg) & t’ai chi (3 times/week)
Results showed that green tea polyphenols (equivalent to 4-6 cups green tea daily) in addition to t’ai chi enhanced bone health markers at both 3 and 6 months. Muscle strength was also improved at the 6 month point. Significant quality of life improvements were noted by t’ai chi participants in the form of improved mental and emotional health.
The researchers noted that the most remarkable improvement was the effect that both t’ai chi & green tea polyphenols had on biological markers of oxidative stress. Since oxidative stress is a major precursor to inflammation, these results suggest that green tea and t’ai chi may be beneficial, not only to osteoporosis, but other inflammatory diseases as well.
Rachel Bartholomew Dip ION MBANT
Source:Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (2011, May 9). Green tea and tai chi enhance bone health and reduce inflammation in postmenopausal women. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 13, 2011, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110410130827.htm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (2011, May 9). Green tea and tai chi enhance bone health and reduce inflammation in postmenopausal women. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 11, 2011, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110410130827.htm