Herbal ingredient gives incontinence hope

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Urology

UroLogic, herbal ingredient launching in products in the US this
month, could provide a new natural means of managing incontinence,
after being shown to significantly improve the symptoms of urinary
incontinence and overactive bladder in a human clinical trial.

The findings of a two-month human clinical trial, conducted for Australia's BioLogic Health Solutions by American Institute of Biosocial and Medical Research, will be presented next week at the conference of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology in San Francisco next week.

UroLogic is a patent-pending formula that contains two herbs: Equistetum arvense​ (horsetail), a mild diuretic herb with a history of use in the west to address the symptoms of urinary incontinence perhaps down to soothing an irritated bladder sphincter with its antispasmodic function; and the Ayurvedic herb Crateva nurvala​ assists bladder tone and has also been shown to decrease residual urine volume.

UroLogic has been available in Australia for several years, where it is listed with Therapeutic Goods Administration. This month saw its debut in the US. It is now available in consumer products marketed by several companies, including NorthStar Nutritionals, Doctor's Best and Purity Products.

Although the company already had a raft of positive efficacy and safety research in Australia, it wanted to support the US launch with a randomised double-blind study conducted there.

Dr Alex Schauss, director of natural and medicinal products research for the American Institute of Biosocial and Medical Research, told NutraIngredients.com that a focus group revealed that, for sufferers, "life is centered around 'where's the bathroom?'"​.

Incontinence is usually associated with aging, but it can affect people as young as the 20s - in particular women following childbirth. Around 25m Americans are estimated by the National Center for Continence to experience transient or chronic urinary incontinence, but sufferers are often very secretive about it.

Until now, managing the condition has been limited to surgery, prescription medicines, and continence pads. Around $5bn is spent each year on continence products.

The potential for the ingredient on the US market is certainly significant. In February BioLogic Health Solutions was awarded a product merit award for UroLogic by the Nutrition Business Journal.

The two-month study involved 73 subjects (26 men and 47 women) who, twice a day, took either a UroLogic tablet, or a cellulose placebo.

At baseline, one month and two months the participants reported on frequency of urination and incontinence episode, both by day and by night. They also completed questionnaires to assess their quality of life and the distress caused by incontinence.

By the second month 67 percent of the UroLogic group showed a reduction in urinary frequency. In the first month both groups showed an improvement, but this was maintained only in the active group.

Improvement in quality of life was also seen in both groups at one month but again this was only maintained in the active group.

The researchers called the improvement "significant"​ and said that the results "supported the effectiveness of UroLogic in reducing the symptoms of urinary incontinence and overactive bladder, even when used concurrently with common drug medications."

Related topics Research Polyphenols Women's health

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