Research: DU and others,

Listed in Issue 98


DU and others, Department of Surgery, Huadong Hospital, Shanghai 200040, China,, have studied the therapeutic efficacy of high-dose vitamin C on acute pancreatitis and its potential mechanism.


The aim of the study was to observe the effect of vitamin C in high doses on acute inflammation of the pancreas, and to explore potential mechanisms for this action.


84 pancreatitis patients were divided into treatment and control group, and an additional 40 healthy subjects were used as a 'normal' group. Patients in the treatment group received 10 g of vitamin C intravenously every day for 5 days. Patients in the control group received 1 g of vitamin C intravenously each day for 5 days. Symptoms, physical signs, duration of hospitalization, complications, and mortality rate were monitored. Serum amylase, urine amylase, leucocyte counts, plamsa vitamin C, plasma lipid peroxide, plasma vitamin E, plasma beta-carotene, whole blood glutathione, erythrocyte superoxide dismutase and erythrocyte catalase activities, and T lymphocyte phenotype were measured in the treatment and control groups before and after treatment and in the normal group.


Compared with the normal group, markers of antioxidant potential were lowered in the pancreatitis patients. In the treatment group, fever and vomiting disappeared, and leukocyte counts and amylase returned to normal more quickly than in the control group. Patients in the treatment group also had a higher cure rate, fewer complications, and a shorter in-ward time compared to those in the control group.


High-dose vitamin C has therapeutic efficacy in acute pancreatitis. The potential mechanisms include promotion of antioxidant activity, blocking of lipid peroxidation, and improvement of cellular immune function.


Du WD, Yuan ZR, Sun J, Tang JX, Cheng AQ, Shen DM, Huang CJ, Song XH, Yu XF, Zheng SB. Therapeutic efficacy of high-dose vitamin C on acute pancreatitis and its potential mechanisms. World Journal of Gastroenterology 9 (11): 2565-2569, Nov 2003.

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