Recent studies show that resveratrol can help relieve endometriosis, a common condition that can cause pain and irregular menstrual bleeding for many women.23,234 Characterized by tissue similar to the uterine lining growing outside the uterus, this extra tissue can lead to scarring in the reproductive organs and in the pelvic area that could cause infertility.234 Unlike the normal endometrial lining of the uterus that is shed every month during menstruation, this tissue stays.234
Causes of Endometriosis
The causes of endometriosis are not known, but one theory suggests that it may be an immune system disorder.234 There’s good reason to suspect that the immune system is an important factor in the development of endometriosis. Mast cells are activated as part of the immune system, and are associated with allergies and inflammatory conditions. Once activated, mast cells release a number of inflammatory proteins, including the enzyme tryptase. Tryptase then stimulates production of the type I collagen, which helps form the fibrotic tissue found in endometriosis cases. And a clinical study involving 13 patients (ten with endometriosis and three without) confirmed that those with the disease had dramatically higher numbers of mast cells—most of which were activated and releasing these inflammatory and fibrotic factors.235 Hormones (especially estrogen) also play a role in the development and symptoms of endometriosis.234
Treatments for Endometriosis
Conventional pharmaceutical medications for endometriosis are used to relieve pain and to stop the condition from getting worse. Preventive drugs can include birth control pills containing the hormones estrogen and progesterone, progesterone-only pills or injections, or drugs that suppress estrogen production (e.g., Synarel® and Lupron Depot®). Other treatment options include surgical removal of excess tissue and/or a hysterectomy.234
All of the conventional therapies for endometriosis can cause adverse side effects, and most do not cure the condition.234 Resveratrol may offer a safe and natural therapy option for women suffering from this chronic condition. In a small clinical study involving four patients with severe endometriosis pain, treatment with a natural glycoside of resveratrol along with a soybean polyphenol resulted in reduced pain and inflammatory mast cell lesions. Patients took the treatment twice daily for 90 days, but noticeable improvement occurred in as little as 30 days.23
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Over five times the number found in the control group of
study participants without endometriosis.
Removal of the uterus and/or the fallopian tubes and ovaries (one or both).