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Food and health

Drinking tea before menopause is associated with higher bone mineral density in postmenopausal women



Though tea drinking years and menopause stages have been indicated to be related with bone mineral density (BMD), most human studies have not considered the impact of tea drinking beginning time. Whether drinking tea before or after menopause plays a role in BMD is still unclear. This study aims to analyze whether drinking tea before or after menopause influences BMD in Chinese postmenopausal women.


A total of 1377 postmenopausal women under 80 years were enrolled from the baseline survey of the Lanxi Cohort Study. Participants were initially categorized into non-tea drinking, tea drinking beginning after menopause and tea drinking beginning before menopause groups. Tea drinking groups were subdivided according to tea drinking frequency, concentration and type. Multiple linear regression models were applied to evaluate associations between tea drinking before or after menopause and BMD and the impacts of tea drinking frequency, concentration and type on their associations in analyses including all participants. Interactions of tea drinking frequency, concentration and type with drinking tea before or after menopause were further analyzed.


After adjusting for confounding factors, women who began drinking tea before menopause had significantly higher total and regional BMD than non-tea drinking participants and participants who began drinking tea after menopause. Differences in spine BMD were more significant among those who drank tea ≥four times per week. In addition, significant associations between tea drinking and BMD were found among participants who began drinking tea before menopause in both models, irrespective of the concentration and type of tea. No significant associations were found in subgroups of participants who began drinking tea after menopause in either model.


The results indicate that drinking tea before menopause is related to higher BMD in Chinese postmenopausal women. The relationship is independent of tea drinking concentration and type.

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Fig. 1: Study flow diagram.

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We gratefully acknowledge the efforts of the Lanxi Municipal Government and Lanxi Municipal Bureau of Health. We would also like to thank the staff and physicians of Lanxi Red Cross Hospital for providing support in the field surveys.


This study was funded by the Cyrus Tang Foundation [419600-11102] and the China Medical Board Collaborating Program [12-108 and 15-216]. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

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SN and SZ designed the study. SN and LW analyzed the data and drafted the manuscript. SN, LW, GW, JL, YM, XZ, YR, WZ, XHZ and SZ contributed to the discussion, the interpretation of data and results or revised the manuscript. SZ has primary responsibility for the final content. All the authors have read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Shankuan Zhu.

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Ni, S., Wang, L., Wang, G. et al. Drinking tea before menopause is associated with higher bone mineral density in postmenopausal women. Eur J Clin Nutr 75, 1454–1464 (2021).

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