Calcified Tissue International

, Volume 104, Issue 3, pp 285–300 | Cite as

Effect of Long-Term Green Tea Polyphenol Supplementation on Bone Architecture, Turnover, and Mechanical Properties in Middle-Aged Ovariectomized Rats

  • Chwan-Li ShenEmail author
  • Brenda J. Smith
  • Jiliang Li
  • Jay J. Cao
  • Xiao Song
  • Maria F. Newhardt
  • Kylie A. Corry
  • Michael D. Tomison
  • Lili Tang
  • Jia-Sheng Wang
  • Ming-Chien Chyu
Original Research


We investigated the effects of 6-month green tea polyphenols (GTP) supplementation on bone architecture, turnover, and mechanical properties in middle-aged ovariectomized (OVX) rats. Female rats were sham-operated (n = 39, 13/group) or OVX (n = 143, 13/group). Sham-control and OVX-control rats (n = 39) receiving no GTP were assigned for sample collection at baseline, 3, or 6 months. The remaining OVX rats (n = 104) were randomized to 0.15%, 0.5%, 1%, and 1.5% (g/dL) GTP for 3 or 6 months. Blood and bone samples were collected. Relative to the OVX-control group, GTP (1% and 1.5%) lowered serum procollagen type 1 N-terminal propeptide at 3 and 6 months, C-terminal telopeptides of type I collagen at 3 months, and insulin-like growth factor-I at 6 months. GTP did not affect bone mineral content and density. At 6 months, no dose of GTP positively affected trabecular bone volume based on microCT, but a higher cortical thickness and improved biomechanical properties of the femur mid-diaphysis was observed in the 1.5% GTP-treated group. At 3 and 6 months, GTP (0.5%, 1%, and 1.5%) had lower rates of trabecular bone formation and resorption than the OVX-control group, but the inhibitory effects of GTP on periosteal and endocortical bone mineralization and formation at the tibial midshaft were only evident at 3 months. GTP at higher doses suppressed bone turnover in the trabecular and cortical bone of OVX rats and resulted in improved cortical bone structural and biomechanical properties, although it was not effective in preventing the ovariectomy-induced dramatic cancellous bone loss.


Tea Osteoporosis Animals Bone microstructure Bone quality Bone matrix 



This study was supported by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) of the National Institutes of Health under Grant U01AT006691 to Chwan-Li Shen. Jay Cao was supported by the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, #3062-51000-053-00D. We are grateful for the assistance of Dr. Gordon Brackee, Velvet Lee Finckbone, and Anna Rodriquez for sample collection. We thank Dr. Dale Dunn for his technical advising and support concerning histomorphometric analysis. The contents of this manuscript are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NCCIH or the National Institutes of Health.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Chwan-Li Shen, Brenda J. Smith, Jay J. Cao, Jiliang Li, Xiao Song, Maria F. Newhardt, Kylie A. Corry, Michael D. Tomison, Lili Tang, Jia-Sheng Wang, and Ming-Chien Chyu declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

All procedures were approved by the local Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chwan-Li Shen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Brenda J. Smith
    • 2
  • Jiliang Li
    • 3
  • Jay J. Cao
    • 4
  • Xiao Song
    • 5
  • Maria F. Newhardt
    • 2
  • Kylie A. Corry
    • 3
  • Michael D. Tomison
    • 1
  • Lili Tang
    • 6
  • Jia-Sheng Wang
    • 6
  • Ming-Chien Chyu
    • 1
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of PathologyTexas Tech University Health Sciences CenterLubbockUSA
  2. 2.Department of Nutritional SciencesOklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiologyIndiana University-Purdue University IndianapolisIndianapolisUSA
  4. 4.USDA ARS Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research CenterGrand ForksUSA
  5. 5.Department of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  6. 6.Department of Environmental Health ScienceUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  7. 7.Graduate Healthcare Engineering OptionTexas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA

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