WE SOMETIMES hear from women the term “myoma.” This refers to “uterine myoma” (tumor in the muscle of the uterus). The medical field refers to it as “uterine fibroids” or “uterine leiomyoma.” It affects up to half of women between ages 35 to 49.
Myoma has been associated with several complications, such as excessive bleeding, either during menstruation or before menstruation; pain in the pelvis, which can be acute (very painful) or chronic (occasional or ongoing), dyspareunia (painful sex), iron-deficiency anemia, miscarriage and even infertility. Therefore, it can lower the quality of life in reproductive-age women.
Unfortunately, no effective long-term treatment for myoma is available yet, except for surgery, which ranges from uterine artery embolization to hysterectomy. Ultrasound thermal (heat) therapy is also growing in popularity outside the Philippines.
However, recent studies finally confirmed the effectiveness of green tea extract in the treatment of myoma. In a study in Egypt, five physicians (Eman Roshday, Sarbani Maitra, Mohamed Sabry, Abdou Ait Allah and Ayman Al-Hendy) and one American physician (Veera Rajaratnam) found that a dose of 800mg of green tea extract reduced the volume of myoma by 32.6 percent in only four months of treatment. The placebo group in this study had experienced an increase in myoma volume (size) by 24.3 percent during the same study period.
The effect resulted from the antioxidant activity of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), an active substance found in Camellia sinensis (green tea). The green tea, however, should be freshly ground, not the dried form placed inside tea bags.
Due to hormonal fluctuations, the uterus eventually generates a substance that stops apoptosis from occurring in adequate amounts. Apoptosis in the uterus plays a crucial role in cleaning up excess muscular cells in the uterus during the phase when it is prepared for ovulation and implantation. Thus, when apoptosis stops, myoma starts to grow.
EGCG re-activates apoptosis in the uterine muscle, which slowly destroys excess cells found in the tumor until, eventually, it returns to normal. A 33 percent reduction in the size of the myoma in four months means that in 12 months it is possible that the myoma will eventually disappear.
If you need more information, you can email me for a primer on EGCG studies on its use against myoma. I can also help you access reliable sources of these products.