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Leaking? Drink more green tea

Behavioral modification training for patients who have urinary issues commonly involves education about dietary triggers. The IC-Network lists green tea as "probably problematic" for triggering increased symptoms. Researchers in Japan, however, have reported an inverse relationship between urinary incontinence and drinking green tea.

Researchers at Curtin University in Western Australia and at the University of Tokyo completed dietary intake questionnaires for 300 Japanese community dwelling women aged 40-75 years. A urinary continence questionnaire was also completed (International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire- Short Form).

In the 27.5% of women who experienced urinary incontinence, less green tea was consumed on a daily basis versus those who did not leak. Average consumption of green tea for those who did not report incontinence was over 3 cups (757 ml). This relationship was not identified to be in effect for coffee, black or oolong tea.

Perhaps an important message to take from this research is that in our clinical experiences patients rarely respond equally to the same dietary factors. Some of our patients cannot, despite vigorous logging of food and beverage intake, find a consistent association between certain foods or fluids and their bladder symptoms. Even though some of our patients may benefit from reducing coffee and teas, we can appreciate that at least in Japan, where this information was gathered, a diet that includes green tea may not necessarily contribute to bladder issues.
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