|Urinary incontinence is a problem many people develop as they age, develop certain diseases, or after surgery. Several months ago, I told readers of my monthly newsletter about a novel device that might help urinary incontinence in women. NeuroCare uses electricity to treat the problem. And it really works. But three studies say there might just be a less expensive way to see the same results.
The first report looked at the effects of feeding EGCG to female rats and its effect on their bladders. EGCG is one of the prime constituents of green tea.
The researchers considered the effects of loss of estrogen on the bladder. In menopause, you can lose tissue integrity, which may lead to multiple problems. One of those problems can be an overactive bladder. This problem may affect over 16% of the U.S. female population.
The researchers divided 48 female rats into four groups: (1) ovariectomy alone, (2) ovariectomy followed by 1mcM/kg EGCG daily, (3) ovariectomy followed by administration of 10mcM/kg EGCG daily, or (4) no intervention (control group).
They followed the rats for over six months. Then they looked for apoptotic (dead) cells and associated protein from cell death. They also evaluated markers of inflammation and oxidative stress. And they performed cystometrograms to evaluate bladder over activity (how they did this on rats is a miracle of modern science).
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The researchers found that long-term ovary removal significantly increased non-voiding bladder contractions. And it reduced the ability of the bladder to normally expand.
The procedure also increased bladder cell death and increased interstitial fibrosis in the organ. That means the wall of the bladder degenerates to scar tissue. Enzymes associated with apoptosis increased and the anti-apoptosis enzyme Bci-2 decreased. The animals that had surgery also had increased markers for inflammation, fibrosis, and oxidative stress damage.
In the EGCG groups, the researchers found significantly decreased non-voiding bladder contraction and increased bladder expansion ability. EGCG also reduced inflammatory protein markers and reduced oxidative stress markers in dose-dependent fashion.
The second report studied easily achievable levels of EGCG on rats exposed to water avoidance stress. The experimental rats had significantly higher inflammation scores in their bladders compared to controls. EGCG had “obvious protective effect on bladder mucosa.” The inflammation scores and inflammatory cells' counts were all significantly lower in the EGCG group. The experimental rats received 1mg/kg of EGCG by injection for seven days.
A third recent study found that EGCG inhibits bladder cancer cell's ability to invade by suppressing a key tissue-destroying enzyme.
Green tea is a superfood, there’s no doubt about it. The major problem with EGCG from oral green tea is limited absorption of the active bioflavonoid. We do know that your body absorbs it somewhat since there are many studies on the health benefits of populations drinking green tea. I am working on a trans-dermal delivery system of EGCG for my patients. In the meantime, oral green tea extract is the most cost-effective means to get this incredible compound. I recommend Green Tea Extract, which delivers 300 mg EGCG to your intestines with each capsule.
I have been recommending one per day for most people, including those with cancer, but will increase the dose to 2-3 per day now that I’ve reviewed the benefits and absorption parameters. If you have bladder problems, consider green tea extract. I don’t think you’ll benefit much from drinking green tea itself, considering that one capsule delivers EGCG in the equivalent of some 10 cups of liquid green tea. You’ll be drinking it all day compared to the convenience of capsules! Here’s one place where a supplement likely outshines the parent food!
Yours for better health and medical freedom,