Acai Linked To Pain Relief In Chronic Pancreatitis Patients
In a recent study, it was found that antioxidants of the sort found in various plants, most notably the acai berry of recent popularity, were able to decrease stress and overall pain of chronic pancreatitis patients.
Antioxidant supplementation was found to be effective in relieving pain and reducing levels of oxidative stress in patients with chronic pancreatitis (CP), reports a new study in Gastroenterology. CP is a progressive inflammatory disease of the pancreas in which patients experience abdominal pain (in early stage) and diabetes and maldigestion (in late stage). Pain is the major problem in 90 percent of patients with CP and currently, there is no effective medical therapy for pain relief. Gastroenterology is the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute.
In a double-blind, placebo controlled trial, 127 patients aged 20-41 were divided into two groups: placebo and those that would be treated with antioxidants. For six months, both groups were given their doses and afterward, it was found that the pain relief for the antioxidant group was significantly higher than that of the control group. A stunning 32% of the antioxidant group became completely pain-free over the duration of the trial, vs. 13% of the control.
Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas and chronic sufferers are known to suffer tremendous amounts of abdominal pain due to the body's inability to absorbe fats in the blood. Over 70% of adult cases of chronic pancreatitis are linked directly to alcoholism.
Antioxidants are nutrients found in foods that can significantly slow oxidative damage done to the human body. Through the normal process of oxygen-exchange in the blood, free radicals are produced as a by product and are known to cause damage to cells. Heart disease, macular degeneration, diabetes, pancreatitis and more are just some of the health problems associated with oxidative damage.
Of course, antioxidants can be found in various foods we eat on a daily basis: carrots, squash, broccoli, sweet potatoes, tomatoes (essentially, bright colored fruits and green leafy vegetables) and even wine, but as of late, it has been discovered that the acai berry packs more of an antioxidant punch than some of these foods combined. In fact, research done on the fruit yielded results that had never been seen before: it contains 30 times more antioxidants than red wine and is five times as potent as gingko biloba.
The recent findings linked to pancreatitis and the associated pain is a blessing for thousands of those afflicted each year.