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Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease in which open sores or ulcers form in the inflamed colon lining, leading to rectal bleeding and chronic diarrhea. The drugs typically used to treat ulcerative colitis reduce the inflammation that is damaging the colon wall by suppressing the immune system and often cause serious side effects.
The study looking at EGCG and colitis was published in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. It included 20 people with mild to moderate ulcerative colitis, each assigned to take either 200 mg of EGCG twice daily, 400 mg of EGCG twice daily, or placebo for eight weeks. They answered questions about their symptoms and the lining of their intestines was examined (by endoscopy) at the beginning and end of the study.
The participants were given scores at the beginning and end of the study to reflect the degree of ulcerative colitis activity based on their symptom questionnaire and endoscopic exam findings. These disease activity scores showed the following:
“This first ever study of EGCG in patients with ulcerative colitis provides convincing preliminary evidence for a demonstrable treatment effect in patients with inflammatory bowel disease,” the study’s authors said. “The observed clinical effect, coupled with a paucity in acute side effects, lends strong support for a more thorough evaluation of EGCG as a therapeutic agent for ulcerative colitis.”
If you suffer from ulcerative colitis, these results suggest that EGCG might be helpful. Here are some other things that have been shown to help control inflammation and reduce symptoms:
(Inflamm Bowel Dis 2013;19:1904–12)