Green tea contains chemicals that slow down bone loss. This conclusion was reached by a research team led by Ping Chung Leng from the Institute of Chinese Medicine at the Chinese University in Hong Kong.

For several days, the researchers exposed bone tissue-producing bone cells, osteoblasts, to the three main constituents of green tea, epigallocatechin, halocatechin and gallocatechin gallate. The results of a study published in the journal Agricultural and Food Chemistry show that one of these elements, epigallocatechin, enhances the activity of a key enzyme that stimulates bone growth by up to 79%.

The researchers also found that high levels of epigallocatechin blocked the activity of certain types of cells known as osteoclasts, which destroy or weaken bones.

No toxic effects caused by bone epigallocatechin have been found, experts say.