Forskalin for Bladder Infections

April 9, 2007

1 Min Read
Forskalin for Bladder Infections

DURHAM, N.C.Forskalin, an extract from the Indian coleus plant, may help fight urinary tract infections in the bladder by reducing the number of intracellular E. coli. Researchers at the Duke University Medical Center injected forskalin directly into the bladder or administered it intravenously in mice. The herb appeared to expel more than 75 percent of the E. coli bacteria hiding in the superficial bladder epithelium, flushing out the bacteria and rendering the microbes more vulnerable to the antibiotic treatment.
The researchers are currently determining whether the herb is effective on mice when given orally as a combination with antibiotics. Lead microbiologist Soman Abraham, Ph.D., said: "This type of treatment strategy may prove to be beneficial for patients with recurrent urinary tract infections. 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."
Researchers found bladder infections are recurrent because the bacteria remain in the bladder, even after treatment. "After customary antibiotic treatment, the vast majority of the bacteria are either killed by the antibiotics or eliminated during urination," Abraham said. "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." He also said forskalin's action makes intuitive sense, since the herb is known to rev up certain cellular activity.
The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and results were published in the journal Nature Medicine (online, April 8, 2007).

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