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How to Relieve Pain, Lower Oxidative Stress for Pancreatitis Sufferers

A study published in the January 2009 issue of the journal Gastroenterology found that antioxidant supplementation can help relieve pain and reduce levels of oxidative stress for people with chronic Pancreatitis.

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas which often results in mild to severe pain in the abdominal region. It often becomes progressively worse and can be agitated by eating or drinking. If not treated, the condition can lead to bleeding, infection, tissue damage and possibly even diabetes.

For the double blind, placebo controlled trial researchers from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences recruited 127 middle aged participants. Each was assigned to receive either an antioxidant supplement or placebo for six months.

At the conclusion of the study period, researchers found that participants who received antioxidant supplementation had doubled the number of pain free days compared to the placebo group. They also found that 32% of participants in the antioxidant group became pain free over the course of the study.

Beyond pain relief, antioxidants were shown to reduce the number of pain pills taken by participants and slightly reduced the number of pancreatitis related hospital visits.

Markers for oxidative stress were also measured and found to be significantly lower in the antioxidant group. This is particularly important because patients with pancreatitis have higher levels of free radical damage, which can result in damage to cell membranes, DNA, and proteins.

Given that there is no effective therapy for reducing pancreatitis, these results may be especially promising to those suffering from the condition.

If you are looking to increase your antioxidant levels you may want to try to include more antioxidant rich foods in your diet. Cranberries, blueberries, soy, chocolate and green tea are all high in antioxidants.

If dietary changes prove difficult you may want to try a nutritional supplement like CoQ10 or a "super fruits" drink.
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