A new study has found that an extract from green tea may be a useful treatment for uterine fibroids, a condition that affects 40 percent of women of reproductive age, commonly causing vaginal bleeding, anemia and fatigue.
Dr. Ayman Al-Hendy, director of clinical research at Meharry Medical College, and his colleagues found that a polyphenol in green tea known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) was capable of killing human leiomyoma cells in tissue cultures and was able to shrink fibroid lesions in lab animals.
After eight weeks of treatment with EGCG, lab mice with induced uterine fibroids experienced significantly smaller fibroid growths than control subjects who were given a placebo. In fact, one mouse showed no signs of uterine fibroids at the end of the trial.
The researchers state that green tea extract "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 next step for the team is to conduct controlled trials using human participants.