For years, people have said that green tea can help relieve fibroid symptoms. Some dismissed this idea as an old wives’ tale. But now, we have important new research on green tea and fibroids. And, as it turns, out, green tea compounds could effectively treat uterine fibroids. Let’s take a closer look!
Green Tea and Fibroids: How the Combination Works
As you may know, fibroids are non-cancerous uterine tumors. They’re composed of smooth muscle cells as well as connective tissue, and range in size from tiny to a size significant enough to enlarge your uterus. Most women will develop at least one fibroid by the time they turn 50, but Black, Hispanic and Asian women have a higher risk for fibroids.
Now, some women never experience symptoms related to their growths, but as many as 25% do. And, for these women, fibroid treatment is often the only hope for a return to normal life.
For far too long, women were told that hysterectomy was the only treatment for fibroids. Today, there are more options. These include myomectomy, surgical removal of your tumors; and uterine fibroid embolization, or UFE, a minimally invasive, catheter-directed treatment that shrinks your fibroids by cutting off their blood supply. Recently, thanks to new research, we’ve also learned that a green tea compress may help ease fibroid symptoms.
Green Tea and Fibroids Study
Before we dive into the recent findings, one thing needs to be clear: this research was preclinical. And that means it wasn’t tested on actual patients. Rather, the results were observed on lab-grown fibroid cells.
With that covered, let’s take a look! Scientists at Johns Hopkins Medicine discovered that a green tea compound called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) has the potential to prevent or treat fibroids. Specifically, EGCG seemed to reduce fibronectin protein levels of fibronectin, while also disrupting pathways involved in fibroid tumor cell growth.
While all that is promising, there’s a catch: the results didn’t come from sipping cups of green tea. Instead, they were the result of direct EGCG treatment, meaning any therapies down the line would likely be in the form of oral medications, not tea bags.
In announcing these results, lead study author James Segars Jr. said, “The purpose of this study was to examine how EGCG works to treat and prevent uterine fibroids. There is no standard protocol for uterine fibroid disease management or prevention, no tools to prevent their growth, so finding a safe nonsurgical therapy is important.”
Luckily, researchers believe this study may lead to newer, non-surgical treatment options! Co-author Soriful Islam says, “The results from this study show that EGCG targets many signaling pathways involved in fibroid growth, particularly the extracellular matrix.” Therefore, in the future, “EGCG supplements could be an easily accessible and natural way to relieve symptoms and slow fibroid growth.”
Currently Available Non-Surgical Fibroid Treatment
For now, the results on green tea and fibroids are not yet medically applicable. Still, you have non-surgical treatment options that can help relieve your fibroid symptoms and shrink or eliminate your tumors. Ready to find relief from fibroids? Reach out to our fibroid specialists in Houston, TX to see if you’re a good candidate for UFE!