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  • Herb rejects hidden bladder bacteria

    Hi - I find this article very interesting from Life Extension about an herb:
    Forskolin reduces urinary tract infections

    In a letter published online on April 8, 2007 in the journal Nature Medicine, Soman Abraham and his associates at Duke University Medical Center described their finding that an over the counter extract of the Indian coleus plant known as forskolin can significantly reduce urinary tract infections and could enhance the ability of antibiotics to destroy E. coli, the bacteria that cause most bladder infections. The herb is currently an ingredient in some body-building products, and is used to enhance lean body mass.

    "This herb has been used in Asia for centuries for a wide variety of ailments," Dr Abraham said. "However, one of its constant uses has been for treating painful urination."

    In several experiments using mice, the Duke team found that some bacteria retreat to cells lining the bladder where antibiotics cannot reach them. "After customary antibiotic treatment, the vast majority of the bacteria are either killed by the antibiotics or eliminated during urination," Dr Abraham explained. "However, there are small numbers of bacteria that survive antibiotic treatment because they sneak into the lining of the bladder, waiting for the opportunity, after antibiotic treatment, to come out and start multiplying again."

    Although the lining of the bladder is resistant to penetration, pouchlike structures that enable the organ to stretch create niches in which E. Coli can reside. By enhancing specific cellular activity, forskolin causes these pouches to flush their E. Coli colonies into the urine, rendering the bacteria destructible by antibiotics.

    Because the current research used injectable and intravenous forskolin, Dr Abraham is planning to test the compound’s efficacy when administered orally. "This type of treatment strategy may prove to be beneficial for patients with recurrent urinary tract infections," Dr Abraham predicted. "Ideally, use of this herb would expel the bacteria, where it would then be hit with antibiotics. With the reservoir of hiding bacteria cleared out, the infection should not recur."

    PV - This could be a major help to those who have an IC caused by low level hidden bacteria, if that is truly the case.
    I got IC in 1970! I was not diagnosed until 1991. I've tried many drugs and therapies but I tend to only resort to drugs when in a flare because when I am not in a flare (from being good on diet), I suffer only from small bladder volume (like about 7 ozs.) and peeing will relieve the discomfort. When I am feeling relatively normal, I say to myself I am glad I am not on a drug. When I am in a flare, I say, why am I not on a drug! I've recently have been trying to solve my connective issue problems in general. I look to diet and herbs mostly unless it gets really bad. I still think there is great hope for each individual finding a path to healing and there are many.

  • #2
    WOW! That is VERY interesting! Before I started on daily Macrobid, I got so many UTIs, that I couldnt help but wonder if in fact they were not all the SAME infection, as oppossed to 10 separate UTIs in one year (like the Uro thinks). If my hunch is right, and it really was one long unresolved infection, then something like this could really be helpful.

    This also gives more credibility to the Broth Culture studies.

    I agree that not everyone's IC has a bacterial origin, but I do think there are some out there that are bacterial infections that were unresolved. This study adds weight to that theory.

    Thank you for passing this study on to us! I am bookmarking it to print off and keep an eye on.

    Thanks again!

    Hugs,
    Amy

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    • #3
      there are more links

      If you search the net there are more links to the Nature article about this. I can't help but think that some bacteria do hide out in those biofilms. I would definitely find the best report on this and show it to your doctor. Sometimes mice studies don't act the same as people studies and note that this is was an injection, but the fact that this herb has already been used in Aryuvadic Indian medicine for painful urination gives us hope that it will work in people. Since you can get it OTC, I might give it a go. Luckily, my bladder is not that sensitive to a lot of substances. I wonder if it would work with d-mannose or with a variety of herbs that are used for UTIs (such as goldenseal). My herbal instructor, whom I have great respect for and who has treated many people with herbs safely for over 25 years claims he cured IC with goldenseal, but I think he really doesn't understand IC and I think those people must have just had some stubborn infections. Note: I haven't tried his cure yet, because I doubt it would work with me and he really uses large doses which I am scared of. Anyway don't take any more than stated on any bottle, unless you are under the care of an experienced practicetioner. PV
      Last edited by purpleviolet; 04-20-2007, 08:28 PM. Reason: sp
      I got IC in 1970! I was not diagnosed until 1991. I've tried many drugs and therapies but I tend to only resort to drugs when in a flare because when I am not in a flare (from being good on diet), I suffer only from small bladder volume (like about 7 ozs.) and peeing will relieve the discomfort. When I am feeling relatively normal, I say to myself I am glad I am not on a drug. When I am in a flare, I say, why am I not on a drug! I've recently have been trying to solve my connective issue problems in general. I look to diet and herbs mostly unless it gets really bad. I still think there is great hope for each individual finding a path to healing and there are many.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the xtra info. I agree that it wouldnt be for everyone. Fortunately, like you, I am not particularly sensitive to most meds/chemicals. But, just to be safe, I will definately let my Dr. look at it and see what he thinks. He is pretty openminded about things and when he doesnt know, or is on the fence, he always researches things too and gets back with me. Luckily, he is also openminded about alternative meds. So, I will be interested to hear his thoughts about this. (This is my Gyno, not my Uro. My Uro is totally close minded! But, I digress! )

        Anyway, thanks again! I am very excited about this! I havent been this excited about a new study in quite a while!

        Hugs,
        Amy

        Comment


        • #5
          I saw this, and recently decided to go on it. I have been diagnosed with Cystitis Cystica too in addition to IC, and the treatment for CC is to treat the infection with a course of antibiotics and then prevent reinfection through antiseptics/antimicrobials (I am using some natural products to do that).

          It's only been a week since I've been off CyA and on this stuff, but I am sooo much more comfortable already. No pain at all, haven't had to use one pain pill. So I think I will continue with the program of preventing reinfection by using the natural products including this new herbal product. Doesn't seem to be harming me, seems to be helping me, but of course I always recommend talking to your doctor before trying any products, herbal or otherwise.

          Blessings,
          Lori
          P.S. I've been taking a break from my worries - that's why I haven't been on - just want to get reengaged with life lately. The investigation is still on-going, but I have heard changes have been made based on my complaints, and I am so happy about that, happy that other women will benefit.

          Comment


          • #6
            "Hidden" bacteria?

            This is interesting research. Several years ago the researchers at Washington Univ in St. Louis wrote about the discovery of "intracellular bacterial communities" of E. coli in mouse bladders. They refer to them as "biofilm-like" and they said this could explain recurring UTIs. The bacteria were protected from detection and also from treatment by antibiotics.

            Last year I found an article by Japanese researchers who found many hospitalized patients had urinary tract infections caused by Enterococcus. They also found in most the bacteria formed biofilms and the biofilms often contained other species of bacteria, i.e. were polymicrobial. No one in the US has found biofilms in human bladders that I know of.

            It is very possible that many chronic patients actually have bacterial infections that are not being found by the usual culturing method - agar plate culture for 24 to 48 hours. That is why we feel the broth culture that encourages the growth of hard-to-culture species is better for detecting bacteria. By definition IC is considered "non-bacterial" but many of us believe the bacteria are just not being detected. The presence of a biofilm could explain this, or the fact that the bacteria are intracellular and deep in the tissues. Labs look for a large number of colonies and not all bacterial species produce a large number of colonies but can be pathogenic nevertheless.

            It would be great if there are shown to be natural products that could treat these infections. First we have to prove that there are bacteria present and so far most doctors/researchers do not accept this.

            Thanks for posting this information.

            Martha

            Comment


            • #7
              Urogenial probiotic

              I have posted this before but will do it again since many probably did not see it. Gregor Reid, PhD, from the U of Western Ontario, invented a probiotic consisting of two species of Lactobacillus that he tested exhaustively for the prevention of the adhesion of potentially pathogenic bacteria in the intestinal and urogenital system. It is called FemDophilus and it is available on the internet.

              The directions say to take one or two capsules orally per day but we have asked him if it is safe to insert one directly into the vagina and he said it was. It is best to insert with an applicator of gel so the capsule stays put.

              Dr. Reid has been working with probiotics for many years and has done research on bacterial vaginosis also. There are many articles by him on the internet. Not all probiotics are tested to the degree FemDophilus was. There is a good description of the purpose of a probiotic such as this on the insert. It will take a month or so to build up enough colonies for good protection/treatment and the bottles only come with 30 capsules. I suggest ordering several when trying them. I have suggested to Jarrow, the manufacturer, that they package them in larger quantities and that they advertise in magazines and websites. Otherwise I don't know how patients will hear about this new (1year old) product. I know several patients, including me, who are very pleased with it.

              Martha
              Last edited by ICNDonna; 04-21-2007, 11:09 AM. Reason: Removed link to sales site.

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