Some cross-sectional and prospective studies have demonstrated a positive correlation
between habitual tea consumption and bone mineral density in post-menopausal women.
Rooibos tea contains no caffeine and is a rich source of flavonoids such as rutin, orientin,
hyperoside and luteolin. These flavonoids have similar structures to estradiol, and
therefore may act as estrogen mimics to promote favourable outcomes in bone. The
overall objective of this research was to identify flavonoids that could enhance mineral
content in human osteoblast Saos2 cells. Mineral was quantified by alizarin red staining
and characterized by quantifying alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, cell mitochondria
activity and toxicity, in addition to changes in regulatory markers of osteoblastic activity.
Rutin (≥50μM), hyperoside (≥5.0μM), orientin (0.1μM-1.0μM, 15μM-100μM) and
luteolin (5.0μM) enhanced mineral content. This was in part due to elevated ALP and
mitochondrial activity, and lower toxicity, pro-inflammatory cytokines, and Wnt
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