Best Supplements For Pancreas Health

best-supplements-for-pancreas-healthWhat are the best supplements for pancreas health? Hopefully I can answer the question completely because people are using that particular question as a search term to find this blog. I may as well make it easy for them! Naturally I’m geared into talking about the best supplements for pancreas health in terms of how they affect  pancreatitis but I’ll try to include other factors as well.

The Best Supplements For Pancreas Health

For those with pancreatitis [1] or diabetes [2] and pancreatic cancer [3], [4] the best supplements for pancreas health are: Grape seed extract, curcumin, vitamin C and grapefruit seed extract. The interesting thing to note is that these same supplements can also be very beneficial for those who have arthritis, heart disease and many forms of cancer. Again the reason is simple. ALL of those conditions have one thing in common. Inflammation. It has been found that inflammation is either the cause or highly contributes (type 2 diabetes) to the manifestation of the disease. In this post I’ll cover each one of the supplements and give you reasons why they are best (something I may not have done before) so that you can get an idea why I use them and why they work. So let’s get started!

Grape Seed Extract

grape-seed-extractOne of the best supplements for pancreas health is grape seed. Grape seed extract is my favorite supplement, period. It’s incredibly powerful. In high doses it kills cancer cells. Grape seed contains large amounts of polyphenol flavonoids called OPC’s (oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes). Most polyphenol flavonoids have one thing in common. They reduce inflammation. If you are even considering that I may be full of horse apples read what a NY medical center has to say about the efficacy of grape seed extract and OPCs. When the medical community begins to recognize something as possibly life changing chances are it’s either poison and will kill you or in this case, which is rare, actually good for you!

Since pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas grape seed extract works to reduce that inflammation. It also helps with nausea [1] and I am guessing it helps with nausea simply because it reduces the inflammation [5]. When the inflammation is resolved most people see their symptoms resolve as well or at least are given relief.

best-supplements-for-pancreas-healthIn one very small study of three (3) chronic pancreatitis patients grape seed extract was found to be beneficial in one patient. “Treatment with narcotic analgesics and pancreatic enzyme supplements had failed to control their symptoms. The addition of a commercially available IH636 grape seed proanthocyanidin extract (commercially known as ActiVin) to their treatment regimen led to a reduction in the frequency and intensity of abdominal pain as well as resolution of vomiting in 1 patient [1].”  That translates to a 30% success ratio in that particular study. So IF that holds true throughout larger populations it would seem that grape seed extract, by itself, could help a lot of chronic pancreatitis sufferers. BUT …

I use a cocktail of three (3) supplements. Grape seed, curcumin and vitamin C. There is a reason for that. ALL three supplements fight inflammation. All three supplements have DIFFERENT chemical compositions and very likely address inflammation via different modalities. So if grape seed alone helps 30% on average what will the cocktail of THREE highly anti-inflammatory supplements do? IF just HALF of those who used the cocktail properly, in dosages that were right for them (depends on damage) and 50% saw resolution of pain, nausea and vomiting would that not be a good thing? What if they also followed a strict low-fat, pancreatitis diet? What if that total regimen resolved the inflammation and symptoms in as many as 75% of chronic pancreatitis sufferers? How cool would that be?

Vitamin C

vitamin-cOk, I got a little off track, derailed by thoughts bouncing around in my brain but hopefully you can see where I am headed with this. Anyway just another note about grape seed extract. Grape seed extract enhances the action of vitamin C and vitamin C enhances the action of grape seed. Vitamin C also fights inflammation. THAT is why vitamin C is an important member of the cocktail. That is also WHY you should use vitamin C in combination with grape seed extract. Vitamin C is necessary for our good health. Primates (apes, monkeys, gorillas etc), guinea pigs and humans are the only animals that do NOT manufacture vitamin C internally and must get it from food sources. Without enough vitamin C humans develop scurvy.

High dose vitamin C may be helpful in reducing cancer risk. Linus Pauling (chemistry Nobel Prize recipient) hypothesized that high dose vitamin C (5g – 10g per day) could possibly help prevent cancer [6] and heart disease.

What I find totally unbelievable is that the combination of grape seed and vitamin C may NOT be a good idea for those who have hypertension. In one study of 69 hypertensive individuals the two supplements in combination caused a slight increase in systolic blood pressure. The study used a dose of 1000 mg of grape seed per day and 500 mg of vitamin C. Those who took only vitamin C saw a drop in blood pressure [7]. It is interesting to note that low dose grape seed 150 – 300 mg per day lowers blood pressure according to a study at UC Davis.

blood-pressureI take about 600 – 700 mg of grape seed and 1980 – 2310 mg of vitamin C every day. Now Foods Grape Seed contains both grape seed and vitamin C. I just smoked a cig and took my blood pressure. Smoking ALWAYS increases blood pressure and it was 125/82.  That reading is about 10 mmHG higher in both systolic and diastolic pressure than normal for me. But again smoking does that, not the grape seed and vitamin C combination. I’ve tested the smoking thing before and I’d wager if I took it again 30 minutes to an hour from now it would be 10 points lower for both just as it was in the other “tests” to see what effect smoking had on my personal blood pressure readings. Yes, I’m kinda nerdy. 🙂 However …

IF YOU are hypertensive it may be something to consider. You’ll need to choose what is more important resolving the inflammation of your pancreas and the resulting pancreatitis symptoms or a couple mmHG increase in your blood pressure. It’s not as if the combination of grape seed and vitamin C causes hypertensive crisis, which would be totally dangerous. That simply isn’t even close to a possibility unless you have severe, uncontrolled high blood pressure.

Curcumin

curcumin-for-pancreatitisCurcumin is a component (curcuminoid) of the East Indian spice turmeric. It has be shown to relieve pain as well as NSAIDS, reduce inflammation and perhaps kill cancer cells. There are several problems with curcumin.

First the human digestive system doesn’t absorb curcumin well. Adding some black pepper to your diet helps curcumin absorption.

Second, large doses can make some people nauseous and vomit. It is best to stay under 1000 mg per day to avoid those symptoms. 500 – 1000 mg of curcumin per day coupled with the grape seed and vitamin C make an absolute killer inflammation reducer when it comes to pancreatitis.

The third problem with curcumin is that it increases bile flow. This is NOT a problem UNLESS you have gallstones or SOD (Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction).

As long as you do NOT have gallstones or SOD curcumin is one of the best supplements for pancreas health and that is why I use it in my cocktail.

Grapefruit Seed Extract

grapefruit-seed-extractGrapefruit seed extract is not to be confused with grape seed extract. They are two different extracts from two different fruits but grapefruit seed extract has been shown in one study to protect rats from acute pancreatitis. This is enormously compelling. If you have ever experienced acute pancreatitis you’ll understand why this is so compelling. In fact it explained why my acute pancreatitis attacks stopped out of the blue for no apparent reason after I started drinking grapefruit juice in the early 1980’s. So I have first hand experience that grapefruit juice and/or extract does infact protect the pancreas and stops acute pancreatitis.

NOTE: There is a major problem with grapefruit, grapefruit juice and grapefruit seed extract. They ALL interact poorly with a large number of prescription drugs. Some combinations can be lethal so check with your doctor and pharmacist  if you are taking any kind of prescribed medication BEFORE you buy grapefruit seed extract, eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice.

Summary

There you have them. The four best supplements for pancreas health especially if you have pancreatitis. If you have pancreatitis and haven’t tried them do so. Couple them with a good pancreatitis diet and you may see improvement you never dreamed possible ever since you became ill.

 

Reference Sources:

1 – Beneficial effects of a novel IH636 grape seed proanthocyanidin extract in the treatment of chronic pancreatitis – read here

2 – Postprandial blood glucose response to grape seed extract in healthy participants: A pilot study – read here

3 – Gallic acid is an active component for the anticarcinogenic action of grape seed procyanidins in pancreatic cancer cells. – read here

4 – Grape-seed procyanidins inhibit the in vitro growth and invasion of pancreatic carcinoma cells – read here

5 – Grape-seed procyanidins modulate inflammation on human differentiated adipocytes in vitro – read here

6 – Vitamin C – read here

7 – The combination of vitamin C and grape-seed polyphenols increases blood pressure: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial – read here

This article has 67 Comments

  1. Thank you again for this site. It is very useful. I have a comment and question about digestive enzymes…

    These include any that you can get at the health-food store and some prescription strength ones that include the enzymes Lipasae, Amylase, and Protease… One would think that when taking these enzymes, you should be able to eat without suffering pancreatitis since it will help in digesting fats, etc… I was doing well on a low-no fat diet but my doctor gave me zenpep and said if I took one to three with a meal I should be fine (or that was the impression I had gotten) and I had a salad with dressing and some fried eggplant…. 2 hours later during the post-dinner movie, that pain came in…. Not full attack pain, but enough to keep me fasting for the next 2 days to prevent it from getting worse… That was a disappointment. I figured if I took the pressure off the pancreas by providing the enzymes it needs to process fats, I could eat half-way normal… Is that not the case? Technically just one of these pills says it has enough enzymes to process 67 grams of fat… during that meal, I took two.

    I am tired of a diet that is limited to egg whites, brown rice, white-meat chicken, and lentils… I miss going out to eat with my wife… I was quite the “foody” before all this… I thought I had found a loophole by taking the pancreatic enzymes… what is your experience with these? The one I took was provided by my doctor called Zenpep which has more enzymes than any healthfood store one…

    1. Hi Joe – I gotta tell you that enzymes do NOT make it so you can eat fat. They help digest fat, protein and carbs but they are doing the work of a tired, injured pancreas that may not be producing enough enzymes now to get the digestive process going so that you absorb nutrients from food. Fat and alcohol are still the enemies, triggers, that will cause you pain and suffering. There is much more than egg whites, brown rice, skinless chicken (quail, turkey, pheasant, grouse work too) and lentils. Where are the other grains like oats? Where is the white meat fish (Cod, perch, bass, crappie, halibut etc)? Where are the fruits and veggies? Haven’t you been adding foods via the food diary?

      Hey Joe, having pancreatitis isn’t easy. The symptoms of an inflamed pancreas suck. Food is no longer your friend. The diet isn’t easy. Eating out is really tough and chancy. It gets really tough as time goes on due to boredom, especially after 30 years. Just be glad you are NOT a celiac too like me. At least you can have bread (if it works for you), biscuits with honey and so much more that I can’t have. You simply have to determine which is more important to you – food or feeling decent.

      You could always check into TP/AIT. I personally wouldn’t do it but that’s me. I like to keep as many organs as possible, especially when I am not completely sure of a positive outcome.

  2. Thank you for your information! I was diagnosed with Chronic Pancreatitis this week. I started the grape seed, curcumin and Vit C last week after reading your entire site…at least three times over! I have 2 questions: 1)is the calcium in the grape seed capsules enough to cause calcification? 2)do you take an enzyme supplement?
    I have suffered for 20+ years with these attacks. I am a celiac as well. I am SO thankful to have an answer. I appreciate the work you have done to bring this information to the world. I know there is a lot I can do to stop the damage and begin healing! Thank you.

    1. Hi Robin – you’re welcome. Sorry to hear you’ve been diagnosed with CP. Ok, let me give you some answers.

      1) “Is the calcium in the grape seed capsules enough to cause calcification?” This is a great question. Calcium supplementation has been suggested to possibly lead to heart attack. Nothing to my knowledge has been proven that it does or doesn’t or that it leads to the calcification of organs. That doesn’t mean an extra load of calcium is safe. Since you are asking I assume you are talking about NOW Foods Grape Seed. There is 36 mgs of calcium in each cap. If someone needs 10 caps per day to get their pancreatitis under control that would mean a consumption of 360 mgs per day. A shade more than one cup of milk yet with other dietary calium absorption that could be enough to begin pushing the envelope in some folks such as older adults and those with impaired kidney function. Here’s an interesting paper: Risk of High Dietary Calcium for Arterial Calcification in Older Adults. Anyway …

      That is an excellent question Robin and one I do NOT have a good answer for at this time. It is definitely something to consider. Thanks for asking because I completely missed the possibility. It may be beneficial to for you, me and others to switch brands and use a brand that has nothing but grape seed or grape seed with maritime pine bark (pine bark offers another avenue for OPC content), vitamin c (without calcium added). Like you Robin I too am a celiac so unfortunately I was looking more for a supplement that was free of corn, oats, rice, wheat, gluten and added vitamins or minerals that could be toxic in large doses. I let the calcium slip by due to the fact it was otherwise a good formulation at a decent price.

      2) “Do you take an enzyme supplement?” Yes, I use NOW Foods Super Enzymes.

      Good luck Robin, heal up and stay well! 🙂

      1. Thank you for your reply! I also purchased the NOW Foods Super Enzymes. I am having some trouble tolerating the Greap Seed and Enzymes right now. I hope it is a matter of tolerance and can build up to the recommended dosage for these two supplements.

        I will keep my eye open for a grape seed supplement that does not have calcium. Better safe than sorry! Until then I will continue the NOW Foods brand.

        The curcumin supplement seems to bother me, as well. I purchased Black Seed Oil from Mountain Rose Herbs. I don’t know if it’s doing me any good at all, but I am tolerating 1/4 tsp of the oil each day. (Black Seed oil is from the same plant as curcumin.) I like that I can also rub a few drops of the oil on my skin with some coconut oil. My doc thinks absorption through the skin can possibly help (not enough research on this).

        Thank you, again! I have shared your site with my family to help them understand my situation. Celiac and CP are a wicked tough combo.
        Robin

        1. Hey Robin, you may be having problems tolerating grape seed and curcumin. Some people do. Those who have toxic systems experience some flu like symptoms due to the “cleansing” effect. Those who have gallstones or SOD should NOT take curcumin and to much curcumin can cause stomach upset (usually over 1500 mgs) but …

          Do you know how much fat is in one dinky tsp serving of black seed oil? I checked a couple brands cuz I didn’t know shit about black seed oil but when it comes to pancreatitis the word OIL scares me because ALL OIL IS FAT. Fat is NOT our friend and the average black seed oil product boasts 5 GRAMS of fat in a 5 GRAM serving (1 tsp). That is the total FAT serving goal of a complete meal! Meals should be 5 GRAMS of FAT or LESS with a total of 25 GRAMS per day including snacks.

          I run into folks all the time who tell me they can’t tolerate cabbage (an example) that is nutrient dense, has ZERO fat, I eat it all the time with no problem yet people tell me cabbage is bad. Grapes are bad. Apples are bad. This is bad, that is bad and they eat beef, pork, gravies, dairy (milk, cheese, etc) and OIL. Most of the time it is the OIL, beef, pork, gravy, dairy that is making them sick not the cabbage, apples and grapes. IF you have NOT done the food diary prep and started a food diary you need to do that. You’ll find a post on this site that explains exactly how to do the prep and then the diary. Until you do that you are guessing about food/drink consumption. And …

          IF you have sustained heavy pancreas damage from acute pancreatitis and/or long term CP 1/4 tsp of any oil may not be a good thing. And it is HARD to tell unless you do a food diary properly because most literature, online or off, typically says that pancreatitis usually gets worse after eating and …

          It can! BUT … That doesn’t mean immediately. It can take 24 – 72 hours for something you ate to actually cause symptoms and that is something that even most doctors have no clue about. It is totally ludicrous to assume all foods cause symptoms within minutes to a couple hours etc. It can be a day or two before the beef catches up or that oil or that gravy. OR it could be a few hours later. In fact, it is completely conceivable that one food such as bacon could cause an almost immediate problem (within an hour or two) when eaten one time and the next not cause a response until 48 hours later. That is why someone can drink alcohol one night and not have a problem until days later. OR they could have the problem the same day or evening. Inflammation triggers are not all instantaneous. Then again …

          You could be having a “cleansing” experience with the grape seed and curcumin. By the way …

          Did you know that vitamin C helps heal the celaic disease damaged intestinal tract? “Various dietary components including long chain ω-3 fatty acids, plant flavonoids, and carotenoids have been demonstrated to modulate oxidative stress, gene expression and production of inflammatory mediators. Therefore their adoption could preserve intestinal barrier integrity, play a protective role against toxicity of gliadin peptides and have a role in nutritional therapy of celiac disease.” It’s a fairly intense read but I enjoy this stuff , anyway …

          The article goes on to say “Vitamin C and E are able to modulate immune responses in several ways, for instance by modulating leukocyte function and lymphocyte proliferation [73]. Vitamin C and E exert also antioxidant activity, and thereby modulate the inflammatory process.” read more here.

          Good luck! You and I have two conditions that suck lol

          1. Thank you! I have also looked for the fat content of Black Seed Oil. I cannot find any reputable sources. So I have stopped taking the oil internally for now. My daily fat intake is around 5-10 total. I eat primarily vegan, whole foods. I am concerned about the long term effect of low protein consumption, but I do not plan to continue my doc’s diet of NO FAT. At least not for more than a couple of months. Our medical plan is 1) halt the fatty loose stool 2)address inflammation 3)stabilize my dietary intake to healthy levels.

            I have a complete dietary log of everything I have eaten or drank for the last 7 years! Yes, a bit extreme but I was positive there was something I was ingesting that kept causing my pain and dire rears. Thanks to your advice, I have added activity level and pain level to my entries.

            I was pleasantly surprised that the gigantic Vit C tabs you recommended do not upset my system at all! 🙂 I am glad to know they are also healing my damaged villi.

            I am so thankful to have your informative website. I have run across other groups of CP folks who are in really bad shape. Your information and testimonial give me hope that there can be pain free life with CP and Celiac. A life worth living.

            Thank you!!!

            Do you know what caused your CP? Is it the autoimmune type? If so, how does the autoimmune type differ? (I mean how does the treatment differ)

            I think I should start a Health Guy fan club!! 😀

          2. Hi Robin 🙂 You’re welcome. Eating primarily vegan is GOOD. You’ll get used to it lol. It sounds like you have a plan. Protein really isn’t a problem as long as you can eat 2 – 3 – 4 times a day without discomfort. You only need 40 – 50 grams of protein per day unless you’re an athlete, body builder or in some profession that requires a ton of calorie and protein intake such as certain MOS designations in the military. 60 – 70 grams of protein is easily acheivable in 3 meals without overeating. I just finished a post on low fat high protein foods that are suitable for us lucky folks.

            My CP was caused by repeated acute attacks and pancreas damage. The original acute pancreatitis attack was most likely caused by a football injury but neither the doctor who finally diagnosed me correctly nor I really know for 100% positve. I was never told it was “autoimmune” or related but nobody knew I had CD then either. Autoimmune pancreatitis usually starts out presenting like CP and/or pancreatic cancer. It is often misdaignosed as cancer of the pancreas because it LOOKS like cancer on CT, acts like cancer and the only real way they tell is by biopsy. So who knows! I started off with nausea, heart burn and some other symptoms. The pain came later. Heck it could be autoimmune but it doesn’t make much difference now. There were like 3 years of acute attack after acute attack once it got going so damage was done. IF they’d have caught it right away steroid treatments are quite successful in putting autoimmune pancreatitis into remission. Nothing to my knowledge “cures” it. It seems to come back like a bad dream. But again, I don’t know if that is what I had or have. I suppose it is a possibility.

            Let’s not do the “fan club.” I’m really shy 🙂

  3. Hello my friend.Yesterday I had attack due to taking vitamin B 12.It happens three times when I take vitamin b 12 and I am sure that vitamin is the reason for the attack.I read that people with pancreatitis,vegans and those who take proton pompue inhibitors have lack of vitamin b 12.I am all three and I decide to take that vitamin.I read douzens of articles and in all I read that vitamin b 12 is safe and good for pancreas.But in my case it is very dangerous.Do you know why?I suppose that is because b12 increases bile flow and in some way it infllames pancreas.Last time I took pill which must chew but the result was the same.The only thing that helps me is GSE-it is like miracle.I have pains in my kidneys after I take GSE but I prefer to have pains there because pancreatic pain is nightmare.

    1. Hi Miroslav – I wish I could be more helpful. I know it sucks to be sick. I have never found any info (research) that even remotely suggests that B12 causes AP. Are you taking any other prescription drugs (there are many associated with AP) or eating anything that would be suspect? Proton pump inhibitors are suspect in TWO areas. Interstitial nephritis (kidney problems) and acute pancreatitis. Read more. I’d be more suspect of your proton pump inhibitor than B12. I hope you feel better soon 🙂

  4. Hi there
    I have not been officialy diagnosed, but I have all the symptoms of pancretitis. Huge weight loss, light coloured stools and deficient in many vits minerals very time I am tested. Plus I feel much worse after fatty foods. And many other symptoms.
    I do already juice on a day to day basis, but would like to take the plunge and do a full juice fast. I am concerned though that my weight is already down on what is should be. I don’t really want to lose any more.
    What would you suggest?

    Many thanks in advance for your reply!!

    1. Hi Wendy I’d recommend getting a firm diagnosis. There are several conditions that cause clay (light or yellow, even orangish) colored stools. Gallstones/GB disease is just one. Celiac disease is another and then there is liver disease. And there are other conditions that could be in play. Anyway … if at all possible it is best NOT to guess or self diagnose/treat however … with that said IF it is pancreatitis healing is more important than weight loss or gain.

      1. Thankyou so much for your reply!

        I agree with what you say, and I was just putting off going to the docs as I am nervous. However I have made an appointment for tomorrow. The information you give out for free is amazing, and I wish there were more people like you!! A lot are trying to sell information to vulnerable people who need advice.

        Thanks again:)

  5. Hi, my question is that my Naturopath says my CP is from my diabetes meds. I have seen articles that day that. What do I do? I can’t stop taking them cold turkey. She also took me off most of my supplements while things calm down. I do want to try your 3 to help but will it help if I’m still on the other meds that are hurting?

    1. Hi Terry – yup type II diabetes meds are notorious for causing pancreatitis. The grape seed extract, curcumin and vit C should help. I don’t know which diabetes meds you are on but most are a problem and should be discontinued unless you want to blow out your pancreas. However … THAT is a choice you need to make on your own. You should do research on the diabetes medications you currently take and find out if it or they are among the notorious drugs known to cause pancreatitis (januvia, victoza, metformin and others). Here’s some info on diabetes drugs that cause pancreatitis.

        1. Hi Terry – Worse in regards to what? IF you are insulin dependent, Insulin is a must. Metformin, is safer than many diabetes drugs in regards to acute pancreatitis. It isn’t nearly as dangerous as Januvia, Victoza, Trulicity and others.

  6. Hi guys.
    I have a recurrant panreatitis. N being the amount of times its been, i can tell wen its on its way. So soon as i feel the symptoms, wood it be ok if i was to have a couple of glasses of strawberry cordial per day. Will it help in any way towards clearing it?
    Cheers.

  7. I have chronic pancreatitis from a duct into my pancreas that is not formed correctly. I have had 3 surgeries to open it up or stretch it with a stent. I also have fibromyalgia and take pain meds and cymbalta and zenpep. Still problems. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Marlene – that sucks. With a bad pancreatic duct you will most likely have problems no matter what you do BUT …

      The combination of a low fat diet (info on this blog) and supplements such as grape seed extract, curcumin and vitamin C should prove beneficial in helping to releive symptoms, maybe even heal some previous damage. You might try Ibuprofen for pain resolution as well. USUALLY when the inflammation resolves so do the symptoms. I’ve heard some pretty cool stuff from folks who have done the same as me. I don’t promise anything but who knows? You may feel better. I hope so 🙂

  8. I was curious as to why you take the all one vitamin powder before bed. Is it just your preference or should it be taken then.I ordered everything you suggested and got it all today except the Enzymes. Those will be here in a couple days.

    1. Hi April – thank you ! 🙂 The ONLY reason I take the multi vitamin/mineral formula at bedtime is that the human body repairs itself while it sleeps. So a good dose of the vitamins/minerals and the anti-inflammatories (grape seed, curcumin, vit C) before bed help your body to battle the inflammation and heal your pancreas. 🙂

    1. Hi Carla – it is true. Thank you – glad you like the blog! Grape seed extract can cause some stomach issues in sensitive people or when fist starting to use it. The reasons for the issues are:

      1) Some folks are simply sensitive
      2) Some may be alergic (rare)
      3) GSE is an extremely powerful antioxidant. Way more powerful than vit C, E, etc. And it can push toxins out of the body too fast for the liver and kidneys to handle for some who start off with high does. So …

      It is best to start with small doses and work up slowly until you see results. Start with 100 mgs once a day. then 100 mgs 2X per day etc. I don’t know if it is better to take it on an empty stomach or after eating. I have done both and do so every day without issue. You should experiment to see which is best for you. 🙂

  9. I have had acute pancreatitis attacts since November 2014 but the doctors believe I have had the problem for years as I have a stone in my pancreatic bile duct. I am on a prescription medication that helps(Creon) 2 pills with meals and snacks but still have attacks every three weeks or so. Would like to try grapfruit juice but I am on a med for anxiety. I am wondering if the graoe seed and vit c will help. Also heard baking soda and molasses will help. Can’t have surgery, I have to have CT or a Mri every 3 months and a EUS once a year to make sure its not cancer. Any suggestions

  10. A friend of mine is using that Thrive product line by Le Vel and is having great results with energy and feeling better. I was wondering if this is something that pancreatitis sufferers, like ourselves, can take their products or if it’s something we should stay clear of.

    1. Hi April – I don’t know. I checked it out quickly. It’s an mlm program. I happen to like the mlm business model but that doesn’t mean the Thrive products are, or ever will be beneficial for pancreatitis. I didn’t invest time trying to find out more about the products. What I will say is that most mlm products are combination products that never contain enough of the right ingredients to heal a damaged pancreas, eliminate inflammation or help prevent another attack. They may even be harmful. Read the labels and check out the ingredients.

  11. Grapefruit juice is working! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and accumulated knowledge of pancreatitis. I have bought grape seed extract, and will look for curcumin, as well. I already take vit C and digestive enzymes, but will add the other two to my daily regiment, as well. I will be reading all of your site and comments in the coming weeks, and I cannot thank you enough for putting all of this out there for us fellow CP sufferers.

  12. Dear Health Guy. I would be interested to know what digestive enzymes you use. I am sure the information is on the site somewhere but I have not been able to find it. Also, if my CT scans and MRI scans are clear, although I still have pancreatitis pain, does that mean that the damage to my pancreas is minimal? Thank you so much for this site. It has proved invaluable and I am feeling so much better and more positive having adopted your regime.

    1. Hi Jen you are welcome :-). I use NOW Foods Super Enzymes. I would guess that since your CT scan and MRI are clear that the damage is minimal. You chances of healing should be quite good.

  13. Thanks Health Guy. I was just wondering how many of the Enzymes you take before a meal. Also when you fasted did you drink nothing but water and the supplement cocktail? Would it be okay to have black coffee or is it best just to stick to water. Many thanks.

    1. Hi Jen – Just water and supplements, then juice etc – My enzyme intake varies depending upon what I eat. If it is something with zero fat one tab or two if meal contains a lot of protein. If meal contains a lot of protein and some fat I’ll do 3-4 (it’s a guessing game sometimes).

  14. Hey HealthGuy,
    Great webpage. You’ve done a tremendous job putting yourself in the survivors shoes and seems you’ve done much research over the years too. My father’s a physician, but even he thinks the doctor’s I’m visiting are giving me false advice.
    I’m 25 and I had an episode of Acute Pancreatitis in April of this year after a bachelor party booze cruise. I drink in, what I consider, extreme moderation. I’m known as the responsible one and always (reluctantly) the DD. I also have a history of Gastritis and Stomach ulcers
    Upon returning from the booze cruise (about 4-5 glasses of spirits for three days) I took a nap after eating a large meal. Waking up, felt this intense radiating pain in my abdomen and blah blah blah (no nausea or vomiting). Hospitalized, 4 days, all fluids, weak as a baby from the lack of protein. I’m now 6 months to date since discharged and I’m back to my healthy weight, with no alcohol, caffeine or THC. I’m always eating quite healthy and rarely touch crap junk food. Occasionally will have a good burger from a restaurant with fries.
    tl;dr
    I’ve maintained this healthy lifestyle and have had no pain or any indication of pain in the future. I’m still regularly visiting my gastro-intestinal specialist along with my general to monitor my blood levels. My doctor says that in the future after one year of abstaining, that I’ll be able to have a glass of red wine, a beer, or even a bit of whiskey. Rather than being a social disaster with drinking, I legitimately enjoy the taste of wine beer and great whiskey paired with a good cigar. No cigarettes. Because of my already healthy background to this already disastrous disorder, am I in the wrong to believe my GP when they state I can drink in small amounts after a full year of recovery?

    1. Hi Grindfarb – Thanks for the kind words! I’m only in their shoes because I’ve been there. In regards to your doctor’s optimism it is entirely possible that you’ll heal up totally and never have another issue. The important thing is to know WHY you had the acute pancreatitis attack in the first place so until you have that info I can’t say for sure. You could have the genetic variant that predisposes you to alcoholic pancreatitis. If that were the case you would NOT need to be an alcoholic or even a heavy drinker to have more trouble. So I’d go with your dad right now and look into WHY you had the attack. There is ALWAYS a reason. Once armed with the WHY you can map out your strategy more intelligently. I wish you a FULL recovery! 🙂

  15. Hi, thanks for your blog info. I’m currently not diagnosed yet, but would like to try some of your supplements to see if they work. Unfortunately though 2/3 (grape seed and grape fruit seed extract) interact with medications (amitriptyline and gabapentin) that I’m currently on. Do you have any other suggestions on supplements to take or ways to take these that could reduce those side effects? Thanks!

    1. Hi Jon – grapefruit seed extract (all grapefruit products, pulp, juice etc) can have serious interactions with medications. It is best to avoid it if you are on prescription meds or at least talk with your doc first. Some drug interactions with grapefruit can be lethal. I have not heard or read of grape seed extract causing major problems in regards to meds but that does not mean it couldn’t happen. Unfortunately I have no suggestions for replacement.

  16. Love reading this. I am in pain a lot and the doctors say they can’t do anything. I won’t go through my whole story. What I’d like to know is low fat yogurt ok? And as far as supplements, How much do you take? I saw grape seed extract, curcumin, vitamin C grapefruit seed extract. Should I also drink grapefruit juice? isn’t there a lot of sugar in juice. I make lemon ginger water for my beverage. Is that good? I am on a gluten free, almost vegan diet. I do eat white fish and lean chicken if I’m having a good day. I need to take narcotics to help my pain and would love to get off them. All the dr’s say is my pancreas doesn’t look good. I’ve had a few procedures to deaden the nerves, but it only lasts a few months. It all started with the ducts and I did use to drink quite moderately. Of course no more. Although I have had this for several years, the past 2 years I seem to be declining. I think it has all just taken a toll on me. i can’t exercise or I am so much pain. Activity is very limited lately. Got off track…My interest is the supplements and how much and how often. I did see you take at night. Thank you for any advice,
    Kim

    1. Hi Kim – I gave you 3 steps I’d take today if I had it to do all over again via your other comment. The supplements are necessary. They are powerful antioxidants that fight inflammation. It is best to start out with low doses like one pill of each per day (for about a week) and then work up to two, then 3, etc. They will push toxins out of your body and if you start off with high doses you may feel lousy. Start slow and drink lots of water to help flush those toxins from your body.

      1. Thank you this was very helpful. I have another question if you don’t mind? Generally i am dealing with constipation, except last Nov/Dec for about 3 weeks I had awful diarrhea. The last 2 days it is back. I don’t even feel it happening. Doctors don’t seem to say much. My blood pressure is very low too. Is it related to my pancreas? Last time I lost so much weight they determined me malnourished. How do you gain weight if I can’t eat anything with any fats?

          1. I eat the exact same diet, that’s why I’m confused? It happened last December too and it lasted 3-4 weeks. I ordered the supplements you recommended and got grapefruit juice. one thing I don’t do is drink enough water. I drink a lot of herbal tea, gatorade, and lemon ginger water that I make. My pain doctor was very concerned today by my appearance, (weight loss) My GI doctor ordered an endoscopy in January when I was hospitalized and nobody ever called despite my 4 emails. I finally went to the office and they can’t do it til June 23rd, My dr. and I find this unacceptable. Working on getting another doctor to do it. I was in some of the worst pain I’ve been in in a long time today, but I’m okay now. I put a heating pad on and slept I didn’t eat today. Oh, the one thing I ate that I haven’t had is granola. Won’t be eating that anymore. I eat white fish,boneless skinless chicken, vegetables, berries, egg whites and sometimes low fat yogurt. Can you give me some other suggestions of proteins?? No night shade veggies. Are dried fruits okay to eat? The doctor recommended ensure for weight gain, but they have a lot of sugar. Thanks for writing to me. Kim

          2. Hi Kim – yeah granola has oil (bars, cereal etc). Oil doesn’t work to well for most people with pancreas damage. Why no night shade veggies? Tomatoes are awesome. Some folks tolerate no fat yogurt, no fat milk and no fat cheese. Be careful of Ensure. Most Ensure products contain oil. The only safe possibility is Ensure Clear (no oil). If you still have pain you must still have inflammation so if it were me I’d get some ibuprofen (comes in 200 mg tabs) and take one shot of 800 – 1000 mgs, I’d also increase the dosage of the supplements, especially grape seed extract. It may take some time to find the right dose of grape seed extract that works. It is best to NOT eat when you have pain and/or nausea. In fact, fasting (nothing but water, supplements and Ibuprofen) may be beneficial. Dried fruit sometimes contains sugar alcohol so if it’s a packaged product read the label and look for ingredients that end in “ol” like sorbitol. That is sugar alcohol which is used as a sweetener.

          3. I heard night shade vegetables cause inflammation along with mushrooms and onions. I got nausea the first time I took the grape seed extract and curcumin, but I seem to be adjusting, How much of the supplements should I be taking per day? I’m almost always in pain. I have to take morphine for the pain. Does Ibuprofen really work? I’d love to stop taking narcotics.:( I got my endoscopy moved up to March 27th. I have to put some weight on. I’m shrinking to nothing the past 6 months.

          4. Hi Kim – there is way too much erroneous information floating around. Nightshade veggies such as tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplant are full of good phytonutrients. All four are perfectly safe as long as you do not cook them in an unsafe manner using oil (pure fat) or breading, gravy, sauces etc that contain fat. FAT and ALCOHOL are the two big enemies. Foods that need to be avoided are red meat (beef, lamb, goat, sheep, etc), pork, duck, goose and other high fat foods (oil, butter, margarine, mayo, lard, cream, most milk, nuts, soy, cheese, egg yolks, coconut, avocado and more).

            Question #1: “How much of the supplements should I be taking per day?”
            Answer: It varies from person to person. All the supplements listed on this page are extremely powerful antioxidants and highly anti-inflammatory. Start with low doses until your body gets used to them and work up until you see/feel results (grape seed extract, curcumin and vitamin C). The exception is grapefruit seed extract. One 125 mg tab daily should be enough.

            Question #2: “Does Ibuprofen really work?”
            Answer: Yes. Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory drug. Pancreatitis is inflammation. Narcotics only mask the pain by tricking the brain. They do nothing to resolve the inflammation. Ibuprofen resolves the inflammation. EVERYTHING I eat (or avoid), or take (supplements, Ibuprofen) or do are eaten, taken and done to accomplish one thing. Resolve the inflammation and keep it resolved. Once the inflammation is resolved two things happen. The symptoms lessen or disappear and the pancreas is then able to begin healing.

            Do NOT stop the narcotics without your physician’s supervision especially if you have been on them for any length of time.

          5. Thanks for straightening out those questions. I’m still a little confused on milligram dosage of supplements. They come in several different strengths. I am weaning off the morphine and have talked to my doctor, but I didn’t ask him if it was safe to take ibuprofen while I wean. I’ve read conflicting reports, I will ask him too. I’m doing well with weaning, I’m still on my January supply. If ibuprofen works, I have real hope to get off these forever.

          6. Hi Kim – With grape seed extract I’d start with 100 mg caps (once daily for the first week). Then work up one cap at a time every couple days until you see/feel results. IF you should suffer detox symptoms (flu like) drop the dose down. If there are NO gallbladder issues I’d do 500 mg caps (one daily) for a week and then go to two if symptoms have not resolved, then three in another week (no more than 2,000 mgs daily in divided doses). IF you do have GB issues avoid curcumin/turmeric. Vitamin C 500 or 1000 mg caps/tabs once daily for the first week, then increase to two for a week and so on up to 4,000 mgs daily. Vitamin C can cause diarrhea in higher doses so if that happens simply back off. Grape seed extract, curcumin and vitamin C can all cause detox symptoms BUT they are not themselves toxic. That is why I use them. You don’t have to worry about killing yourself yet some folks feel miserable from the detox symptoms so it is best to go slow and start with low doses. Good luck 🙂

          7. Me again, I was reading through your blog and saw you take a powder for supplements/vitamins. I got capsules. Can you tell me exactly what you use and how much per day?? Right now I have the grape seed oil, curcumin,vitamin E, (capsules) multi vitamin (gummi) and grapefruit juice.I haven’t got the vitamin C yet.Thanks, Kim

          8. Hi Kim – make sure you check with your doc BEFORE using grapefruit (seed extract, juice, pulp etc)! It does NOT play well with medications. I hope you meant grape seed extract instead of grape seed oil. Grape seed oil is not only useless (no antioxidant properties) but it is fat, fat is bad. I think I answered your other questions via the other comment response. If not let me know.

          9. yes, I got Grape Seed Extract, 400mg. and Curcumin 1000mg. The label says tumeric powder 900mg, tumeric extract 100mg, black pepper extract 10mg. Should I take it once a day for how long? How much do you work up to? Say after a week, should I start taking twice a day, and after two weeks 3 times a day? Thanks!

          10. Hi Kim – that’s a pretty strong dose of grape seed extract to start with. I suggest 100 mg tabs/caps to start but if you are already taking them without detox symptoms I guess you are good to go BUT if you haven’t started yet you might want to consider starting with a smaller dose of grape seed extract. The turmeric should be ok. I’d start with one cap of each and take one cap daily for a week, then move to two caps daily (at different times e.g. once in morning and once at night) then keep moving up in dose weekly (like to three times per day) until you get results.

          11. I have started, and I was nauseous the first dose, I thought because I took them on an empty stomach. I ate a few crackers, laid down and was okay. I’m tolerating the 400 mg. But, thank you for the information, because I was thinking of taking them twice a day and now I won’t. I bought them on line and those were the ones that were available. I didn’t see your dosage anywhere or the recipe written out in amounts. I should of found this out first, but I was so eager to get started. I had started the weaning process off the narcotics , but now I’m taking ibuprofen for my break through pain relief. Under doctors instructions I still take an extended release morphine, but cut back to twice a day instead of three, and one or none instant relief instead of three. Hopefully soon I can lower that dose and eventually be off them. It will take a while considering I have been on them a very long time. My pancreas is very damaged.As the doctor says, “It’s ugly.” My goal is to get off them and if I can’t, get to a much lower dose. They reek havoc on everything, sleep, mind, memory, mood, appetite,energy, every day living etc…I thank you for this remedy. I’m not sure if it’s going to work for me, but I have hope. I was so depressed and still do get depressed, but I do seem to feel a bit better and it’s only been a little over a week. Maybe it’s in my head! Thank You Thank You Thank You!!!!

          12. Hi Kim – You are welcome! I sincerely hope you are feeling better now because of the diet and supplements beginning to help. Yeah 400 mgs is a tad strong to start off with so the nausea was probably the grape seed extract BUT it may take a lot for you to see/feel results because of the damage your doc has described so increase one cap at a time weekly until you see/feel results. The same goes for curcumin and C. Back off if you experience detox symptoms like you did with the grape seed extract at first.

  17. Back in Nov I suffered an AP and was hospitalized for 5 days. After, many tests they still have not identified what caused it. The pain is constant and some days are more manageable than others. I have also found that if eat more than one substantial meal (regardless of what it is) a day I’m in more than if I just have one meal. I started your supplement regime about 3 weeks ago, and still have no relief. How long after starting the supplements did you start to feel better?

    1. Hi Terry – What you eat is very important. The supplements usually kick in fairly fast but small doses usually don’t produce results. BUT it is best to start with small doses and work up until you feel results. How much are you taking of each right now?

  18. I’m taking the them twice a day. I take a one enzyme for small meals like a piece of fruit or my fruit/veggie smoothie, and two for the bigger meals like dinner.

    1. Hi Terry – so you are only taking the enzymes? They are good if you need them but the workhorse supplement is grape seed extract. Curcumin is excellent as well and vitamin C helps to extend grape seed extract’s ability. Those three supplements are the “healing, anti-inflammatory” supplements. Are you taking them as well? If not that is why you haven’t seen any results in three weeks. IF I could only take one supplement it would be grape seed extract and lots of it BUT start out with low doses and work up.

      1. I am taking on all the supplements twice a day. It’s the enzymes that I’m taking differently based on what I’m about to eat. The only different thing that I use is the Emer-C fruit antioxidant powder.

        1. Hi Terry – Since you haven’t seen results yet after 3 weeks I’d (if it were me) increase to 3 times per day. What dose strengths are the grape seed extract and curcumin (e.g. 100 mgs or what?)? If I know it’ll help.

          1. The curcumin is 500mg, grape seed 100mg, and the vitamin-c is 1000mg. I’ve increased it to 3 times a day. I’ve also been eating nothing but vegetables/fruits and drinking 64 oz or more of water a day. I have had no true relief. It is still some days are worse than others. I thought I was truly at a loss before I found your website. I have tried everything you recommended and still there is just some days the pain is worst than others. I just want to be able to eat some and not drink my calories.

          2. Hi Terry – How long have you been at the dose levels? (3 weeks before right?) How long since increasing? If longer than a week I’d (if it were me) increase the doses so that I was taking 1500 mgs of curcumin (spread over 3x daily), 600 mgs of grape seed extract (spread over 3x daily) and the same with vitamin C (1000 mgs 3x daily). If that wasn’t quite getting the job done in a week or so I’d increase the grape seed and curcumin to 4x daily which would be 800 mgs of grape seed extract daily and 2000 mgs of curcumin. Let me know how that works out. It usually just takes finding the right dose combos and in that area everyone seems to be different. Damage, location of damage, weight etc all plays a part. P.S. if at anytime you experience “detox symptoms” or any unpleasant side effects due to the supplements back off on doses. Then try to work back up later

  19. Question, I have been taking Papaya digestive enzymes to help with my pancreatitis is that a good idea? I also hear ginger is a great anti inflammatory to use as well…..The turmeric I take does not seem to do much good going to try the Grape Seed extract with the Vit C (non acid of course since I deal with acid reflux too)…
    Thanks again for this great site, I been suffering with this issue for awhile, they said I might have auto immune prancratitus cause my IG4 levels were high but there not sure…They say steroids can treat that but my doctor is against it, he said I am better off dealing with the low grade pain and taking the anti inflammatory’s for a few more months till my blood numbers go back to normal….

    1. David – Ginger is good. It is also anti-inflammatory. How much turmeric did you take daily? If it is turmeric (not curcumin) it will take a lot more than if it were curcumin which is the extract from turmeric. Grape seed extract, curcumin and vitamin C in proper doses is a “killer good”) cocktail. It does take patience to find the correct doses because this is where “everybody is different” does come in to play. It depends upon weight and damage. Larger people (heavier like a 6’5″ dude who weighs 250 will require more than a guy who is 5″8″ and 150) and the more damage there is the more it takes of each as well. Now …

      Not to scare you, I’m just asking, did they rule out pancreatic cancer which also increases IgG4 levels and has similar symptoms to AIP and chronic pancreatitis?

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