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Will What’s in Your Tea Shrink Uterine Fibroids?

Will What’s in Your Tea Shrink Uterine Fibroids?

The consumption of green tea extract, or epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), reduced the size of uterine fibroids and improved the severity of women’s symptoms, according to a recently published small study.1

According to background information in the study, uterine fibroids, which occur in up to half of women aged 35 to 49 years, can cause a variety of adverse effects, including pelvic pain, vaginal bleeding, miscarriage, and infertility. Although there are currently no curative treatments for the condition, researchers are exploring several noninvasive therapies, including the use of green tea extract.

“Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the major catechin in green tea, exhibits several useful biological effects, including anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, and antioxidant effects,” wrote the researchers, led by Eman Roshdy, from the department of public health and community medicine at Sohag University, Sohag, Egypt.

To explore the effect of EGCG further, Roshdy and colleagues studied 33 women aged 18 to 50 years with symptomatic uterine fibroids. Enrolled patients had at least 1 fibroid lesion measuring 2 cubic centimeters or larger. The patients were randomly assigned to a 4-month treatment regimen with either 800 mg of green tea extract (n=22) or placebo of 800 mg of brown rice (n=17).

All patients underwent transvaginal ultrasound at baseline and at study end to assess fibroid volume. At study end, the researchers found that patients assigned to green tea had a mean 32.6% reduction in total fibroid volume compared with a mean increase of 24.2% in patients assigned to placebo (P<.0001). None of the patients assigned to green tea had an increase in fibroid volume.

In addition to a reduction in fibroid volume, patients assigned to green tea also had a 34.2% reduction in symptom severity compared with placebo (P=.0001), and an 18.53% improvement in their reported health-related quality of life (P=.01).

When identifying specific symptoms improved with the use of green tea, improvement in anemia (P=.02) and average blood loss (P=.001) were found.

“Administration of green tea extract could possibly be an effective oral treatment for uterine fibroids,” the researchers wrote. “Our data suggest a promising alternative in which the burden of this disease could be reduced by making green tea extract available to women who have uterine fibroids.”

The researchers added that if the results are confirmed in large multicenter clinical trials, the use of green tea extract could provide not only a positive therapeutic option but also may be a preventive option for women.

Pertinent Points:
- Green tea extract significantly reduced uterine fibroid volume and improved symptom severity.
- If further confirmed, green tea extract could be an important noninvasive treatment method for uterine fibroids.

References

1. Roshdy E, Rajaratnam V, Maitra S, et al. Treatment of symptomatic uterine fibroids with green tea extract: a pilot randomized controlled clinical study. Int J Womens Health. 2013;5:477-486.
 
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