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Vitamin B6, vitamin D and green tea compound could improve uterine fibroids

In an article whose title asks the question, “Uterine fibroids treatment: do we have new valid alternative?” findings from researchers from Sandro Pertini Hospital in Rome suggest the answer may be “yes.”

The article, published in the April 2021 issue of the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences reported a benefit for intake of vitamin B6, vitamin D and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG, a flavonoid that occurs in green tea) in women with uterine fibroids (myomas), benign tumors of the uterus that affect a significant percentage of reproductive-aged women. Uterine fibroids adversely impact fertility, and unfortunately, there are few treatment options for women who desire to become pregnant.

The study included 95 women who had between one and five fibroids. Forty-one participants received 5 milligrams (mg) vitamin B6, 25 micrograms (1,000 international units) vitamin D and 150 mg EGCG twice daily for four months, while a control group of 54 women were monitored without receiving the vitamin B6, vitamin D and EGCG. The number and volume of fibroids was measured using ultrasound before and after the treatment period. Fibroid vascularization was measured by color flow Doppler ultrasound, which color codes blood flow to indicate the direction of flow and/or the presence of high blood turbulence. Other factors assessed at these time points included the presence of heavy bleeding, pelvic pain and health/quality of life. Overall improvement was assessed by a questionnaire, the Patient Global Impression of Improvement (PGI-I), administered to participants who completed the four-month study.

After four months, total fibroid volume significantly decreased by 37.9% among participants who received vitamins B6 and D, plus ECGC, while increasing by 5.5% among women who did not receive the nutrients. Similar results were observed in a subgroup of participants who were smokers – fibroid volume was significantly reduced with the supplement combination.

Doppler visualization of blood flow to the myomas suggested reduced vascularization in the intervention group and increased vascularization in the control group. Pelvic pain and health, including the participants’ all-over impressions of improvement, significantly improved in comparison with pretreatment levels in the group that received the nutrients while no change occurred in the control group. Specifically, 85.4% of women taking the supplement reported improvements in their PGI-I score, with 73.2% reporting their symptoms were “very much better”.  No side effects were reported.

Authors Donatella Miriello and colleagues concluded that the study’s findings “showed the effectiveness and safety of a 4-month oral [intake of] a combination of vitamin D, EGCG and vitamin B6 in reducing uterine fibroids’ volume and improving the quality of life of childbearing women. Thus, this…may represent a valid alternative to the classic ‘wait and see’ approach and, at the same time, an adjuvant treatment that could be administered along with pharmacological therapies, even before surgery to reduce the occurrence of possible complications.”

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Apply What You've Learned: Uterine fibroids

  • As is often the case with chronic health conditions, diet may play a role in fibroid prevention. A greater intake of fruit, vegetables and dairy products has been associated with a lower risk of developing fibroids in Black women, who are two to three times more likely to develop fibroids than White women.1,2
  • Research has revealed women who exercise at least seven hours per week are 40% less likely to develop fibroids compared to those who have less than two hours of physical activity weekly.3
  • In addition to vitamins B6 and D, and green tea, other nutrients that may be helpful for women with fibroids include curcumin and the herb black cohosh.4,5
  • A recent study found that uterine fibroid cell growth was reduced by the hormone melatonin, which is secreted by the pineal gland in the brain in response to darkness and encourages sleep.6

References

  1. Wise LA et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Dec;94(6):1620-31.
  2. Wise LA et al. Am J Epidemiol. 2013 Oct 1;178(7):1114-9.
  3. Baird DD et al. Am J Epidemiol. 2007 Jan 15;165(2):157-63.
  4. Tsuiji K et al. Gynecol Endocrinol. 2011 Jul;27(7):512-7.
  5. Xi S et al. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:717686.
  6. Lin PH et al. J Pineal Res. 2020 Jan;68(1):e12620.

Featured Life Extension Magazine® Article

Zinc’s Role in Bone Health, by Paz Etcheverry, PhD

While calcium and vitamin D are often recommended for bone maintenance, zinc is a micronutrient whose role in bone health is frequently overlooked. It’s time that more people became aware of the importance of this essential mineral in skeletal health.

Eighty-five percent of the body’s zinc occurs in bone and muscle. Zinc not only helps prevent the breakdown of bone but aids new bone formation. Zinc is also critical for the body’s immune function, protein synthesis, cell replication and other functions.

People with osteoporosis have lower levels of zinc compared to healthy people. It is important for all individuals to maintain an adequate intake of zinc and other bone-supportive nutrients throughout their lives.

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Health Concern

Insufficient nutrient intake in younger and older women

A study reported on February 10, 2021 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed low intake of several nutrients among a significant percentage of childbearing-aged and menopausal women.

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Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths of the smooth muscle within the uterine wall.

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July 2021

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