The Curative Effects of Green Tea

A spanking new study shows that an extract made from green tea may end up being the newest treatment for uterine fibroids. These benign tumors affect from 25%-30% of all U.S. women say experts. Uterine fibroids, known by physicians as uterine leiomyoma, are very painful. The debilitating condition leads to excessive vaginal bleeding which, left untreated, may cause anemia and fatigue.

Kills Cells

A Nashville, Tennessee researcher named Dong Zhang, MD, along with his colleagues at the Meharry Medical College say they've discovered that an extract produced from green tea has the ability to kill uterine fibroid cells in test tubes. But they also found that the same extract reduces both the size and the weight of these benign tumors in mice. The report on this study was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The Nashville scientific researchers injected fibroid cells into 20 mice. Ten of these mice were then given epigallocatechin galllate (EGCG). The substance was mixed into their drinking water. Ten mice were given plain water, so they could serve as controls. EGCG is a chemical known as a polyphenol which is contained in green tea. The same compound can be found in fruit and vegetables.

No Tumor!

The mice were observed for a period of eight weeks. Of those mice treated with EGCG, fibroid growths as observed at weeks four and eight weighed less and were visibly smaller. One mouse on the EGCG regimen was found to have no tumor at all by the end of the eight week study.

During test tube experiments of rodent fibroid cells, those cells treated with EGCG grew slower and were also smaller after 2-3 days of treatment. It seems that the extract prompted the death of fibroid cells. The researchers comment on this was, "highly encouraging that, in our work, a relatively modest dose of EGCG ... that was delivered in drinking water was successful in inducing a dramatic and sustained reduction in fibroid tumor size up to eight weeks after treatment."

Arrests Progression

The scientists believe that their results show that EGCG, "might be particularly useful for long-term use in women with a low fibroid tumor burden to arrest tumor progression and avoid the development of severe symptoms that necessitate major surgery."

The director of Clinical Research at Meharry, Ayman Al-Hendy, MD, PhD, issued a statement to the press explaining the necessity for this work, since women who have uterine fibroids must take off work, have heightened medical expenses and may need to avail themselves of advanced technology in order to conceive. It is known that this condition is four times more likely to occur in African-American women. The researchers are now recruiting participants for human studies of EGCG.

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