Drinking tea may help preserve bone mineral density during menopause
Women who began drinking tea before entering menopause seem to have better bone mineral density (BMD) than those who started drinking during and after menopause, a recent study has found.
Researchers enrolled 1,377 postmenopausal women under the age of 80 years, who were categorized according to tea-drinking habits: nondrinkers (n=1,062), started before menopause (n=150), and started after menopause (n=165). Groups were further subdivided according to drinking frequency, tea type, and concentration.
Compared with nondrinkers, women who started drinking tea before menopause showed significantly better total BMD (β, 0.041, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.019–0.063; p=0.0002), as well as BMD at the spine (β, 0.042, 95 percent CI, 0.014–0.069), pelvis (β, 0.026, 95 percent CI, 0.003–0.049; p=0.0296), and arms (β, 0.022, 95 percent CI, 0.005–0.039; p=0.0127).
Moreover, total BMD and BMD at all sites (spine, pelvis, arms, and legs) were significantly better in tea drinkers who started before vs after menopause. In contrast, drinkers who only began postmenopause showed no significant BMD advantage over nondrinking comparators.
Frequency of tea drinking also affected BMD but only in women who started before menopause. In this subgroup, drinking tea at least four times per week led to significantly higher BMD overall and in all assessed regions relative to nondrinkers. On the other hand, drinking tea less than four times per week only improved total BMD and BMD at the arms.
In women who started drinking tea after menopause, frequency had no significant impact and BMD remained comparable to nondrinkers.