Dietary Phytosterols Protective Against Peptic Ulceration

Frank I Tovey, Doga Capanoglu, G John Langley, Julie M Herniman, Serhat Bor, Omer Ozutemiz, Michael Hobsley, Karna Dev Bardhan, Bruno Linclau


Background: In developing countries the prevalence of duodenal ulceration is related to the staple diet and not to the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori. Experiments using animal peptic ulcer models show that the lipid fraction in foods from the staple diets of low prevalence areas gives protection against ulceration, including ulceration due to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and also promotes healing of ulceration. The lipid from the pulse Dolichos biflorus (Horse gram) was highly active and used for further investigations. Further experiments showed the phospholipids, sterol esters and sterols present in Horse gram lipid were gastroprotective. Dietary phospholipids are known to be protective, but the nature of protective sterols in staple diets is not known. The present research investigates the nature of the protective phytosterols.

Methods: Sterol fractions were extracted from the lipid in Dolichos biflorus and tested for gastroprotection using the rat ethanol model. The fractions showing protective activity were isolated and identification of the components was investigated by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS).

Results: The protective phytosterol fraction was shown to consist of stigmasterol, beta-sitosterol and a third as yet unidentified sterol, isomeric with beta-sitosterol.

Conclusions: Dietary changes, affecting the intake of protective phospholipids and phytosterols, may reduce the prevalence of duodenal ulceration in areas of high prevalence and may reduce the incidence of recurrent duodenal ulceration after healing and elimination of Helicobacter pylori infection. A combination of phospholipids and phytosterols, such as found in the lipid fraction of ulceroprotecive foods, may be of value in giving protection against the ulcerogenic effect of NSAIDs.

Gastroenterol Res. 2011;4(4):149-156

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