Antioxidant Lycopene Reduces Risk and Treatment of Gastric Ulcer in Vivo

By Kyle J. Norton

The stomach located between the esophagus and the small intestine is a muscular, hollow and important organ of the digestive tract.

The stomach plays a critical role to assist the digestive system in digesting foods by secreting acid and enzymes.

Gastric or stomach ulcer is a condition of localized tissue erosion in the lining the stomach.

Most common symptoms of gastric ulcers are abdominal pain, bloating, septic shock, dyspepsia, and blood in the stool due to bleeding, unintended weight loss and loss of appetite and gastrointestinal discomforts.

Some patients may also experience symptoms of mood disorder, leading to reduced quality of life in many patients.

The imbalance between stomach acid and upper GI tract mucosa is the main cause of the condition onset associated with the use of certain medication, including aspirin, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Helicobacter pylori infection and chronic gastritis.

Epidemiologically, periodontal disease, aging, smoking, long-term use of mechanical ventilation and critical illness are at an increased risk of gastric ulcer.

Dr. Haruka Fujinami lead scientist in the examination of long term intake of conventional medicine in the risk of gastric ulcer wrote, “The rates of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection were significantly low (P = 0.039), while the proportion of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) users and vascular disease significantly increased over the period studied (P = 0.034 and P = 0.04, respectively)”.

And, “It’s found that the primary cause of peptic ulcer bleeding changed from H. pylori infection to use of NSAIDs over the 7-year period of study. It seems that the number of low-dose aspirin users has increased with the increase in the proportion of vascular disease”.
The results strongly suggested if you are a long-term user of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, your risk of gastric ulcer is significantly higher.

Lycopene is a phytochemical found in tomato in the class of carotenoid, a natural pigment with no vitamin A activity found abundantly in tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables, such as red carrots, watermelons, and papayas,

Tomatoes provide about 80% of the lycopene in the world diet. In plants, lycopene protects the host against excessive photodamage and performs various functions in photosynthesis.

On finding a potential compound for the treatment of ulcers, researchers examined the protective effects of lycopene on an indomethacin-induced gastric ulcer model.

The study included a total of 42 adult male Wistar rats induced by gastric ulcer by divided into six groups of seven animals as follows: control, indomethacin, lansoprazole, lycopene 10 mg/kg, lycopene 50 mg/kg and lycopene 100 mg/kg.

According to the tested analysis, the % Tail DNA and Mean Tail Moment in the gastric ulcer group were significantly decreased by the treatment of lycopene at the dose of 100 mg/kg, compared to other treatment groups.

Furthermore, the treatment of lycopene at the dose of 100 mg/kg not only decreased the increased levels of malondialdehyde and myeloperoxidase in the gastric ulcer group but also increased the antioxidant enzymes in the gastric tissue without affecting the levels of catalase.

Based on the findings, researchers said, “lycopene might have a protective effect against indomethacin-induced gastric ulcer and oxidative stress in rats”.

Taken altogether, lycopene found in tomato may be considered supplements for the prevention and treatment of gastric ulcer, pending on the confirmation of the larger sample size and multicenter human study.

Intake of lycopene in the form of supplements should be taken with extreme care to prevent overdose acute liver toxicity.
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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)

Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it’s news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada – Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) The effects of lycopene on DNA damage and oxidative stress on indomethacin-induced gastric ulcer in rats by Boyacioglu M1, Kum C2, Sekkin S2, Yalinkilinc HS2, Avci H3, Epikmen ET3, Karademir U. (PubMed)
(2) A study of the changes in the cause of peptic ulcer bleeding by Haruka Fujinami, Takahiko Kudo, Ayumu Hosokawsa, Kohei Ogawa, Takako Miyazaki, Jun Nishikawa, Shinya Kajiura, Takayuki Ando, Akira Ueda, and Toshiro Sugiyama. (PMC)