Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Basic research

Green tea catechin can improve symptoms of menopause-induced overactive bladder

Credit: © Svetlana Lukienko | Dreamstime.com

Postmenopausal women experience a number of age-related changes, including urological problems such as overactive bladder (OAB), stress incontinence and recurrent UTI. For a study recently published in BJU International, a team of researchers used a rat model of postmenopause to demonstrate that epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)—an antioxidant polyphenol flavonoid present in green tea—can reverse OAB symptoms in a dose-dependent manner.

Investigators surgically removed the ovaries of 36 Sprague-Dawley rats to mimic the human menopause. Subsequently, subgroups of rats were given a daily intraperitoneal injection of either 1 μM/kg EGCG (n = 12), 10 μM/kg EGCG (n = 12), or saline (n = 12), over a period of 6 months. A sham group of 12 rats underwent surgery and manipulation of the ovaries without removal.

Cystometric studies revealed that ovariectomized rats did indeed demonstrate symptoms of OAB (increased voiding frequency, lower bladder compliance and decreased voiding volumes compared to their sham counterparts), and that EGCG injection could alleviate these symptoms in a dose-dependent manner. Rats that received 10 μM/kg EGCG had voiding patterns similar to the control group.

Furthermore, expression studies revealed that treatment with EGCG was able to reverse the oxidative damage, interstitial fibrosis and cell death observed in the bladders of ovariectomized animals.

The authors are keen to emphasize the difference between injection of EGCG and daily consumption of green tea. Intestinal bioavailability of EGCG is reportedly poor, so the team intend to expand their experiments to examine the effects of various EGCG concentrations.

ORIGINAL RESEARCH PAPER

  1. 1

    Juan, Y. S. et al. Green tea catechins decrease oxidative stress in surgical menopause-induced overactive bladder in a rat model. BJU Int. doi:10.1111/j.1464-410X.2012.11258.x

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Payton, S. Green tea catechin can improve symptoms of menopause-induced overactive bladder. Nat Rev Urol 9, 353 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrurol.2012.128

Download citation

Further reading

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing