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Antioxidants, Anyone?

IDEA Personal Trainer
Sept, 2000

Author/s: Nicholas Drake

Individuals suffering from "tennis elbow" or "golf elbow" may have a new way to treat their injuries, according toDanish researchers. Combining antioxidants and essential fatty acids appears to be an effective treatment for inflammatory injuries, reported Soren Mavrogenis, a physiotherapist with Denmark's Olympic Committee. Until now, such injuries typically were treated with rest, physiotherapy and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, commonly known as NSAIDS.

"For the first time we are able to offer our patients a safe and reliable treatment for stress injuries with chronic inflammatory response," Mavrongenis stated in an interview with Reuters Health (April 2000). "I see this as a regular breakthrough in modern physiology. In fact, it is our experience that with this new treatment, as opposed to conventional treatment, athletes are able to train actively while receiving treatment."

First tested in 1996 on a group of athletes from Denmark's National Rowing Team, the treatment has withstood a new study by Mavrogenis and colleagues. The researchers used nutritional supplements containing omega-3 (fish oil), omega-6 (borage oil) and vitamins A, [B.sub.6], C and E, plus selenium and zinc. Most patients responded positively to the treatment in two to three weeks, depending on the severity of the injury. In neighboring Norway, where inflammatory injuries account of 25 percent of job-related absences, the new treatment is being tested by the Norsk Idrettsmedisinsk Institut, a leading Scandinavian facility for sports injuries and rehabilitation.

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