There are several supplements that IC patients have turned to in light of the new research that has linked Elmiron to eye disease, as well as the traditional antidepressants (Elavil, etc.) and bladder antimuscarinics (Detrol, Ditropan) to dementia and cognitive decline. Here is our supplement review as of Summer 2019.
FOR BLADDER, GUT & BODY WIDE HEALTH
BLADDER BUILDER™ is a “state of the art” next generation bladder supplement is that is made in the USA with no ingredients from China. It blends 28 key ingredients to support the immune system, support anti-mast cell activity, support the inhibition of histamines, provide cellular and tissue support and, most importantly, provide pain support. It contains a proprietary blend of chondroitin sulfate, and collagen peptides to support the GAG layer of the bladder wall as well as L-Arginine and L-Citrulline, amino acids that are precursors to nitric oxide production, a substance that may relax smooth muscles. BLADDER BUILDER™ supports gut health with a proprietary blend of bifidobacterium & lactobacillus strains. It also provides key minerals and vitamins (D3, K2-7, E, selenium, zinc, iodine, copper, calcium and magnesium) that work in tandem. It is the first bladder supplement in the USA to contain palmitoylethanolamide (PEA). PEA is a fatty acid involved in a variety of cellular functions in chronic pain and inflammation. It is believed to have neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, anti-nociceptive (anti-pain) and anti-convulsant properties.
Because BLADDER BUILDER contains more than 25 ingredients, it might be more challenging for patients who struggle with sensitivities to various ingredients. Some IC’ers, for example, report flaring with probiotics. If are sensitive, we suggest starting with a simpler formula, such as Bladder Rest or PEAORA.
Manufacturer: Natural Approach Nutrition™
Recommended dosage: 4 capsules per day.
Available at the ICN Shop Exclusively
FOR BLADDER HEALTH
CystoProtek was the overwhelming favorite of IC patients until the Spring of 2019 when the label was revised to include a Prop 65 warning for cancer and reproductive due to the presence of titanium dioxide. As a result, we no longer suggest this supplement until a new formulation is released.
Bladder Rest™ was created as an alternative for CystoProtek. It contains more of the essential active ingredients, including: chondroitin sulfate, sodium hyaluronate, ruin and quercetin. They removed glucosamine due to its limited effectiveness and two key amino acids were added: L-Arginine and L-Citrulline.
It is much more heat stable and will be easier to ship during the summer months due to the use of Avocado oil rather than Olive oil. It is also 20% less in price than Cystoprotek .
Desert Harvest Aloe
Aloe is long known for its calming and soothing effect on the bladder and urinary tract. Desert Harvest Aloe is the only supplement company who has completed a double blind placebo controlled study with their product which showed that participants experienced a significant reduction in their IC symptoms. The company offers that aloe vera is antibacterial, antifungal, antibiotic, analgesic, anesthetic, antiseptic, antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory. Unfortunately, some are sensitive to aloe and may experience stomach or bowel distress.
All products are paraben-free, non-GMO, Kosher certified, have no fillers, artificial ingredients or preservatives.
Manufacturer: Desert Harvest
Recommended dosage: 6 capsules per day.
Available at the ICN Shop (Full Product Line)
Cysto Renew combines chondroitin and hyaluronate for a bladder coating effect combined with the antihistaminic effect of quercetin with the soothing effect of aloe and lemon balm, it offers . Developed by Dr. Geo Espinosa and Douglas Laboratories, Cysto Renew has a small but faithful following. Patients sensitive to aloe will not be able to tolerate it.
Manufacturer: Douglas Laboratories
Recommended dosage: 4 capsules per day.
Available at the ICN Shop
PEAORA POLY 500™
PEAORA™ is another option natural bladder nutritional formula with the primary focus on pain support. It’s two main ingredients are PEAORA BIO-BLEND™ (a blend of palmitoylethanolamides) and POLYTROL™ (a blend of trans-resveratrols).
Palmitoylethanolamide combined with trans-resveratrol may reduce pain & inflammation, may enhance brain health, may reduce gut inflammation, may reduce depression symptoms, and also may reduce histamine release. Research released at the AUA 2019 meeting showed that a similar formula from Italy dramatically reduced the pain of IC patients with 87% experiencing a significant reduction of pain at 3 months. At six months, 100% of patients had a significant reduction of pain and 25% were pain free
PEAORA™ can be consumed in conjunction with BLADDER BUILDER,™ BLADDER REST™ or can be used as a stand-alone bladder supplement.
PEAORA™ takes can take weeks to months to realize the full benefit. PEAORA™ is a good option for those persons that are highly sensitive.
FOR ACID REDUCTION
The first supplement ever developed and used by thousands, Prelief® acts to reduce those irritating acids and has helped thousands struggling with acid sensitivity eat a more balanced diet, while still enjoying an occasional risk food or two. Prelief® is NOT a bladder treatment or therapy. It ONLY acts on the foods that you might be eating and is great for those moments when you might be eating out and are faced with a food that could be irritating. It should not be used by patients who are prone to calcium based kidney stones.
Manufacturer: DSE Healthcare Solutions
Recommended dosage: One or two with meals
Available at the ICN Shop
LOW ACID VITAMIN
MultiRight Low Acid Multivitamin & Mineral Complex
MultiRight is the first low acid vitamin and mineral complex produced specifically to help patients who struggle with bladder sensitivity. It contains selected ingredients based upon their pH levels rather than cost. The end result is the first complete multivitamin & multimineral daily complex that contains less acid thus reducing the chance of exacerbating bladder and/or stomach irritation. The most acidic ingredient, Vitamin C, is derived from calcium ascorbate rather than ascorbic acid. In addition, they used other natural acid neutralizing ingredients, such as calcium glycerophosphate and sodium bicarbonate, to further reduce acid levels.
Bladder Ease – Contains bioflavonoids derived from citrus which could irritate the bladder.
Cystoprotek – The US version of this product now has a cancer warning on the label due to titanium dioxide. Reformulated product may be available in late Fall 2019.
CystaQ – Has a primary antihistaminic effect from quercetin. Unfortunately it contains titanium dioxide which requires a Prop 65 cancer warning