Natures Little Superfood Improves Endometriosis Related Pain

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Natures little superfood improves endometriosis related pain

The Effect of Garlic Tablets on the Endometriosis-Related Pains: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial

doi.org/10.1155/2021/5547058

Background

It has been reported that at least 80% women with endometriosis experience pain in various forms, such as dysmenorrhea, dyspareunia, non-menstrual pelvic pain and back pain, affecting their overall quality of life.

The possible causes of pain in women with endometriosis are recurrent bleeding of lesions, chronic intraperitoneal inflammation, peripheral and central nervous sensitization, release of prostaglandins, causing severe uterine muscle contractions and dysmenorrhea.

Symptoms of pain generally improves following surgical treatment of endometriosis however long-term medication is required afterwards with known side-effects and limited or intermittent efficacy.

Unrelated studies have reported the antiproliferative, antioxidative, and anti-inflammatory effects of garlic extract. Interestingly laboratory models reveal the potential for a restrictive effect on endometriotic lesions via garlic extract.

Aim

To evaluate the effectiveness of garlic extract on endometriosis symptoms.

Methodology

Women aged 20-45 years with confirmed endometriosis (laparoscopy or surgery) were actively recruited from the Valiasr Fertility Research Center for this randomized placebo-controlled triple-blind clinical trial.

Any woman diagnosed with severe physical or mental illness, other diseases, using multivitamin supplements, nonroutine endometriosis medication, or missing 2 or more consecutive garlic extract doses, was excluded from the study to minimise potential bias.

Eligible and consenting women were then randomly (and evenly) allocated to the 2 groups (1. Treatment, 2. Placebo). Participants, persons running the trial, and the statistician were all blinded to the group allocations.
Sociodemographic variables were collected, via a questionnaire, covering age, age at diagnosis, level of education, irregular menstruation, infertility, family history, alcohol consumption and smoking.

Assessment of pain was carried out using the previously validated Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) prior to trial commencement and every month thereafter. Using a scale of 0 (no pain) to 10 (most severe pain), participants rated their pelvic pain, back pain, menstruation pain, and pain during intercourse, with the average of all 4 ratings defined as overall pain.

All patients continued their routine endometriosis treatment, supplemented with 400mg dried garlic tablet (1100μg of allicin) or identical placebo, taken once daily for a duration of 3 months.

Results

A total of 131 women began this trial, with 11 lost to follow up or discontinuing. Final group sizes at the end of 3 months was 60 (Treatment) and 60 (Placebo).

Initial participant characteristics revealed a mean age of 29.4 (Treatment) and 29.7 years (Placebo). Mean BMI was 22.2 and 21.9 similarly, while mean age at diagnosis was 25.8 and 26.2 years.

Among the other characteristics only the level of education and proportion of endometriosis stages was significantly different between the 2 groups, with the treatment group having a greater number of stage 3 and 4 participants.

Next analysis of VAS found a statistically significant increase in pain for women receiving the placebo, while a significant decrease occurred for women in the treatment group.

T0T1T2T3
Pelvic painGarlic tablets 7.15.43.92.3
Placebo7.07.17.27.3
Back painGarlic tablets6.14.33.01.7
Placebo5.86.06.06.0
DysmenorrheaGarlic tablets6.74.83.41.9
Placebo6.46.56.56.6
DyspareuniaGarlic tablets6.14.42.91.5
Placebo6.46.66.66.7
Overall painGarlic tablets6.54.73.31.8
Placebo6.46.66.66.6
VAS mean scores of pain during trial: start (T0), 1 month (T1), 2 months (T2) and 3 months (T3), for both groups according to location.

Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) testing was then conducted to control for the effects of potentially confounding variables (level of education, stages of endometriosis) i.e significant differences between the 2 groups. One-way ANCOVA tests confirmed that garlic tablets still caused statistically significant reductions in pain after controlling for endometriosis stage and level of education.

SUMMARY: FOODS WHICH TREAT ENDOMETRIOSIS PAIN

In this study, natures superfood garlic was found to treat endometriosis specific pain, significantly decreasing overall pain scores (1.8 vs. 6.6 VAS) compared to the placebo control group, after daily intake of garlic extract tablets (1100μg of allicin) for a period of 3 months.

Limitations

  1. Further trials required to confirm preliminary findings.
  2. Long term duration of effect after ceasing of garlic tablets not assessed.

Funding

No external funding was declared for this study.

Glossary

Antiproliferative
Used to inhibit cell growth.

Dysmenorrhea
Pain during menstruation.

Dyspareunia
Pain during intercourse.

Intraperitoneal
Within the peritoneal cavity.

Prostaglandins
Acidic lipids which can be enzymatically produced, by most cell types, in response to mechanical, chemical or immunological stimuli.

Similar studies

Della Corte L, et al. (2020). Phytotherapy in endometriosis: an up-to-date review. https://doi.org/10.1515/jcim-2019-0084

Ansari I A, et al. (2017). Organosulfur compounds of garlic as potent chemotherapeutic agents against cancer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-8216-0_9

Sahbaz A, et al. (2014). Effect of intraabdominal administration of Allium sativum (garlic) oil on postoperative peritoneal adhesion. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejogrb.2014.03.018

Kim K H, et al. (2013). Hexane extract of aged black garlic reduces cell proliferation and attenuates the expression of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 in TNF-α-activated human endometrial stromal cells. https://doi.org/10.3892/ijmm.2013.1362


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