Osteoporosis is caused by an imbalance in bone remodeling, a process involving bone-building osteoblasts and bone-resorptive osteoclasts. Excessive reactive oxygen species and inflammatory responses have been shown to stimulate differentiation and function of osteoclasts while inducing osteoblast apoptosis and suppressing osteoblastic proliferation and differentiation via extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK), ERK-dependent nuclear factor-κB and Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathways. The anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory green tea catechins (GTC) have been shown to promote osteoblastogenesis, suppress osteoclastogenesis and stimulate the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells into osteoblasts rather than adipocytes by modulating the signaling pathways. This paper reviews the pharmacokinetics and metabolism of GTC, their bone-protective activities evidenced in in vitro and in vivo studies, and the limited clinical studies supporting these preclinical findings. In light of the physical, economical, and social burdens due to osteoporosis, easily accessible and affordable preventive measures such as GTC deserves further clinical studies prior to its clinical application.
- Bone remodeling
- Tea catechin