Acute cystitis is a sudden inflammation in the bladder, often caused by a bacterial infection. This condition is more likely to occur in women than men because their urethra is shorter and closer to the anal area, making it easier for bacteria to get to the bladder. The most common cause of acute cystitis is E. coli, a bacteria strain which can cause food poisoning.
Earlier research has shown that green tea contains catechins that have antimicrobial effects against E. coli. For this study, researchers from Kerman University of Medical Sciences in Iran carried out a blinded randomized trial to assess the efficacy of green tea as adjunctive therapy to standard antimicrobial treatment in women with acute uncomplicated cystitis. In conducting the study, they recruited 70 women with acute cystitis. The study participants received either four 500-milligram capsules of green tea or starch as a placebo every day for three days in combination with standard antimicrobial treatment.
The researchers monitored the symptoms of acute uncomplicated cystitis and conducted a urine test on the participants. Symptoms of a bladder infection like cystitis include cloudy or bloody urine, strong or foul-smelling urine, low fever, pain or burning with urination, pressure or cramping in the lower middle abdomen or back, and frequent and strong urge to urinate even right after emptying the bladder.
The results revealed that green tea treatment led to a significant reduction in the prevalence of acute cystitis symptoms, except for blood in the urine. In addition, after three days of treatment, women in the green tea group exhibited a substantial improvement in the urinalysis results.
With these findings, the researchers conclude that green tea can be used as an additional treatment for acute uncomplicated cystitis in women.
Native to China and India, green tea has been consumed and prized for its health benefits for hundreds of years now. All types of tea, except herbal ones, are made from the leaves of the Camellia sinesis plant. However, green tea is less processed compared to black and oolong teas. Green tea is made using steam-dry methods, which is one of the reasons it is loaded in nutrients and antioxidants -- all of which contribute to the health benefits it offers. Green tea has been extensively studied for its health benefits. Green tea's potential health benefits include:
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