Bone remodelling in a healthy body is in constant balance, maintaining an adaptive and robust skeletal system.
In osteoporosis this balance is disrupted with the rates of osteoclastic bone resorption exceeding osteoblastic
bone formation, resulting in lower bone mineral density. Rooibos tea, is a popular South African drink made
from Aspalathus linearis leaves grown in the Western Cape. This tea is rich in phenolic compounds which have
been widely investigated in recent years as a potential treatment for many ailments. In this study, aspalathin, a
phenolic compound found exclusively in rooibos, increases osteoblast formation and function including increased
osteoblast marker expression and mineralisation. In addition, aspalathin decreased differentiation and
function of osteoclasts as well as reducing osteoclast formation in an osteoclast/osteoblast co-culture model.
These results illustrate bone-protective effects of aspalathin in vitro through the reduction of osteoclast activity
and promotion of osteoblast activity, with potential applications in the maintenance of bone density.