The alarming truth is more than 14.5 million people suffer from ulcers worldwide due to factors such as stress and the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). This has prompted many researchers to identify anti-ulcer drugs. Anti-ulcer alternatives are preferred by ulcer patients over allopathic drugs, which can have severe side effects, and to replace the multitude of drugs blocking the multiple steps of ulceration, thus lowering the drug burden on ulcer patients.
A research team at the Central Food Technological Research Institute, in Mysore, India, have demonstrated the potency of a bioactive polysaccharide from an edible root extract against multiple complications encountered during ulcers, such as:
1) gastroprotection against swim / alcohol stress induced ulcers in experimental animal models;
2) down-regulation of activated H+, K+-ATPase in the stomach tissue, which otherwise would result in increased flux of H+ in to the lumen of the stomach, leading to acidity;
3) normalization of oxidative stress and oxidative stress induced damage to the stomach tissue;
4) normalization of antioxidant enzymes which necessitate the management of oxidative stress generated during gastric ulceration and;
5) recovery of damaged mucosal epithelium, which can safeguard the stomach tissue by preventing the entry of an ulcerogenic, such as Helicobacter pylori.
The identified polysaccharide also exhibited potent antioxidant activity, including free radical scavenging, DNA protection, and inhibition of growth of Helicobacter pylori in vitro, confirming the ability of the polysaccharide in inhibiting various steps of gastric ulceration directly.
The researchers concluded that a bioactive polysaccharide from swallow root, with defined sugar composition and phenolic antioxidant, exhibited multi-potent free radical scavenging antioxidant, anti-H. pylori, inhibition of H+, K+-ATPase and gastric mucosal protective activities. Swallow root has been shown to be non-toxic, as opposed to other known anti-ulcer drugs.
Reference: Srikanta BM, Siddaraju MN, Dharmesh SM. A novel phenol-bound pectic polysaccharide from Decalepis hamiltonii with multi-step ulcer preventive activity. World J Gastroenterology 2007; 13(39): 5196-5207
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