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Extracts from pumpkin seed and soy germ show bladder support potential

By Stephen Daniells+

21-May-2014
Last updated on 21-May-2014 at 16:33 GMT

A combination of extracts from pumpkin seed (Cucurbita pepo L.) and soy germ may reduce the sense of urgency in women with overactive bladders, and boost their quality of life, says a new study from Korea.

Twelve weeks of supplementation with Frutarom’s Go-Less proprietary blend of a water-soluble pumpkin seed extract (EFLA940) and the soy germ extract, SoyLife were associated with significant reductions in urgency and nocturnal urination frequency (nocturia), compared with placebo.

Results of the randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial also indicated that over 90% of the subjects in the Go-Less group found the product helpful and answered affirmatively when asked if they would like to continue taking the study product, compared with about 50% in the placebo group.

“Urgency is one of the biggest inconvenience conditions, in practice, for people suffering from overactive bladder,” said Patricia Maureira, product manager of LifeLine at Frutarom Health. “It can be frustrating and constraining, and lead affected people to feel insecure.”

The market for urinary health remedies in adults is fast growing, she added, especially in Western Europe and the U.S. where Baby Boomers and younger sufferers are seeking natural and effective remedies to match their healthy lifestyle.

The new study was supported financially by Frutarom.

An uptick in interest

Frutarom’s Jeff Lind told NutraIngredients-USA that the company has seen a “substantial uptick in interest in this ingredient over the past year.

“Products have been successfully released in the US market and we look forward to more launches in the pipeline. This ingredient really hits a specialized niche at the right time and Frutarom has an additional human clinical study in the works.”

Study details

Researchers led by Bongseok Shim from Ehwa Woman's University in South Korea recruited 120 women aged between 35 and 70 and suffering from overactive bladder-related voiding dysfunction. The women were randomly assigned to receive one gram per day of Go-Less or placebo for 12 weeks.

Results published in the Journal of Functional Foods indicated that the average frequency of nocturia decreased by around 30% in the Go-Less group. In addition, there was a substantial decrease in the average urgency score in the Go-Less group, said the researchers.

“The most important symptom in the definition of overactive bladder is urgency, and the most important key element of the success of the improvement of overactive bladder is the improvement of elements related to urgency, since this is considered the biggest inconvenience in practice, for people suffering,” explained the researchers. “In this study, after 12 weeks, there were statistically significant improvements observed for the Cucuflavone [Go-Less] group in average frequency of urgency, urgency score and frequency of nocturia.

“The statistical significance of the improvement in frequency of urination of the Cucuflavone group was higher than that of the placebo group, and the trend of improvement was maintained until week 12.

“The intake of functional foods like Cucuflavone will be helpful for the voiding health of women who have overactive bladder symptom, especially considering the costs, high dropout rates due to adverse effects or reduced compliance and high recurrence ratios after completion which are drawbacks of pharmacological treatment,” they concluded.

Source: Journal of Functional Foods
May 2014, Volume 8, Pages 111-117, doi: 10.1016/j.jff.2014.03.010
“A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial of a product containing pumpkin seed extract and soy germ extract to improve overactive bladder-related voiding dysfunction and quality of life”
Authors: B. Shim, H. Jeong, S. Lee, S. Hwang, B. Moon, C. Storni

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