The role of vitamin C in the treatment of pain: new insights

The vitamin C deficiency disease scurvy is characterised by musculoskeletal pain and recent epidemiological evidence has indicated an association between suboptimal vitamin C status and spinal pain. Furthermore, accumulating evidence indicates that vitamin C administration can exhibit analgesic properties in some clinical conditions. The prevalence of hypovitaminosis C and vitamin C deficiency is high in various patient groups, such as surgical/trauma, infectious diseases and cancer patients. A number of recent clinical studies have shown that vitamin C administration to patients with chronic regional pain syndrome decreases their symptoms. Acute herpetic and post-herpetic neuralgia is also diminished with high dose vitamin C administration. Furthermore, cancer-related pain is decreased with high dose vitamin C, contributing to enhanced patient quality of life. A number of mechanisms have been proposed for vitamin C’s analgesic properties. Herein we propose a novel analgesic mechanism for vitamin C; as a cofactor for the biosynthesis of amidated opioid peptides. It is well established that vitamin C participates in the amidation of peptides, through acting as a cofactor for peptidyl-glycine α-amidating monooxygenase, the only enzyme known to amidate the carboxy terminal residue of neuropeptides and peptide hormones. Support for our proposed mechanism comes from studies which show a decreased requirement for opioid analgesics in surgical and cancer patients administered high dose vitamin C. Overall, vitamin C appears to be a safe and effective adjunctive therapy for acute and chronic pain relief in specific patient groups.

Acute and chronic pain can be debilitating for patients, particularly if not adequately managed by conventional analgesics. Accumulating evidence indicates that vitamin C can exhibit analgesic properties in some clinical conditions, thus potentially mitigating suffering and improving patient quality of life. Pain is costly because it requires medical treatment, complicates treatment of other conditions and results in lost productivity. In the USA the annual cost of pain was greater than the annual costs of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Vitamin C is cost effective and appears to be a safe and effective adjunctive therapy for specific pain relief. Notably, it decreases the requirement for opioid analgesics, particularly post surgically and for bone metastasis, thus potentially diminishing the deleterious side effects of opioids.


Zinc Status and Autoimmunity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Zinc is an essential trace element for living organisms and their biological processes. Zinc plays a key role in more than 300 enzymes and it is involved in cell communication, proliferation, differentiation and survival. Zinc plays also a role in regulating the immune system with implications in pathologies where zinc deficiency and inflammation are observed. In order to examine the experimental evidence reported in the literature regarding zinc levels in the body of patients with autoimmune disorders compared to control individuals, a systematic review and meta-analysis were performed.

The data presented in our work, although very heterogeneous in the manner of collecting and investigating samples, have proved to be extremely consistent in witnessing a deficiency of zinc in serum and plasma of patients compared to controls.


Bacillus coagulans: a viable adjunct therapy for relieving symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis according to a randomized, controlled trial

Lactic acid-producing bacteria (LAB) probiotics demonstrate immunomodulating and anti-inflammatory effects and the ability to lessen the symptoms of arthritis in both animals and humans. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-design, clinical pilot trial was conducted to evaluate the effects of the LAB probiotic preparation, Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086, on symptoms and measures of functional capacity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in combination with pharmacological anti-arthritic medications.