SUFU 2021: Evidence-Based Examination of Dietary Supplements for Urinary Incontinence on the Amazon Marketplace

( Dietary supplements offer an alternative therapy for incontinence and are readily available since the advent of online marketplaces. But supplements do not undergo rigorous testing for safety and effectiveness. The aim of this study was to determine and evaluate the evidence behind supplements found on the Amazon marketplace. A total of 84 unique dietary supplements were found. Products had the following claims: better urine flow (58%), improve incontinence (49%), decrease urgency (48%), reduce nocturia (46%), prevent urinary tract infections (UTI) (29%), increase pelvic floor strength (15%), and decrease bladder pain (13%). Products had 5.8 ingredients on average. The average customer satisfaction was 4.17 out of 5. The average 30-day cost of a product was $26.69 ranging from $3.63 to $79.99. There were 215 distinct ingredients used with 149 (69%) being unique to one product. Out of the twenty most frequently used ingredients, only six had any clinical studies assessing improvement of incontinence in patients, and of these only four (pumpkin seed, soy germ, stinging nettle, and beta-sitosterol) had evidence of improvement in incontinence. The authors concluded that there was little clinical evidence that exists supporting efficacy for the majority of active ingredients in these products.

Presented by: Danish Singh, Alexander Fethiere, Hasan Jhaveri, Troy Larson, Louis Moy, University of Florida College of Medicine, University of Florida Department of Urology

Written by: Diane K. Newman, DNP, CRNP, FAAN, BCB-PMD, Nurse Practioner and Co-Director, Penn Center for Continence and Pelvic Health Adjunct Professor of Urology in Surgery during the 2021 Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine & Urogenital Reconstruction (SUFU) Winter Meeting.