Antioxidants Resolve Radiation Side Effects

Antioxidants Resolve
Radiation Side Effects

This section is compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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From The September 2001 Issue of Nutrition Science News

by Jack Challem

Radiation proctitis, characterized by rectal pain, bleeding, diarrhea, and incontinence, is a common side effect of radiation therapy for cervical or prostate cancers. Radiation generates large numbers of free radicals that harm nearby normal cells. Researchers asked 20 men and women with radiation proctitis to take a combination of 400 IU vitamin E and 500 mg vitamin C twice a day. All of the patients' symptoms, except pain, were reduced during the eight-week study, and some of the symptoms were completely resolved. Ten of the patients who took supplements for one year had continued improvement.

Kennedy M, et al.   Successful and sustained treatment of chronic radiation proctitis with antioxidant vitamins E and C
Am J Gastroenterol 2001 (Apr);   96 (4):   10801084

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