Purple Sweet Potato Compounds Protect Against Stomach Ulcers

Greg Howard
13th May, 2024

Purple Sweet Potato Compounds Protect Against Stomach Ulcers

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • In a study from Tianjin University, purple sweet potato extract reduced stomach ulcers in mice
  • The extract decreased stomach acidity and harmful enzymes, improving ulcer symptoms
  • It also balanced immune responses, potentially aiding in stomach lining health
Gastric ulcers, a type of peptic ulcer, are painful sores that develop in the lining of the stomach. They can be caused by factors such as excessive alcohol consumption, regular use of certain pain relievers, or bacterial infection. Symptoms often include burning stomach pain, bloating, and nausea. The search for effective treatments is ongoing, as traditional options like proton pump inhibitors and H2 receptor antagonists have drawbacks, including side effects and the potential for relapses[2]. Recent research from Tianjin University of Science and Technology has brought new hope to this field[1]. This study focused on a polysaccharide extracted from purple sweet potatoes (PSP) and its potential to treat ethanol-induced gastric ulcers in mice. The results were promising, showing that PSP could significantly reduce stomach acidity and pepsin activity—both of which contribute to ulcer formation—and lower the gastric ulcer index, a measure of the severity and extent of ulcers. The study went further to investigate how PSP achieves these effects. The team assessed the expression levels of various inflammatory factors and immune system components. They found that PSP not only decreased the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines like TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6, but also increased the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. This suggests that PSP has a balancing effect on the immune system, which is key to maintaining a healthy stomach lining. Interestingly, the study also measured the content of immunoglobulins IgM and IgG, along with complements C3 and C4, which are part of the body's immune response. PSP was shown to increase these components, indicating an enhanced immune defense. Additionally, PSP increased the activity of peritoneal macrophages and the expression of CD4+/CD8+ lymphocyte subsets in the spleen, further supporting its role in immune modulation. The mechanism behind these effects was linked to the PI3K/Akt/Rheb/mTOR signaling pathway, a crucial regulator of cell growth, survival, and metabolism. Western blot analysis revealed that PSP upregulated proteins associated with this pathway, suggesting that it may help protect the gastric mucosa by improving cellular functions and stress responses. This study builds on previous research that has explored alternative treatments for gastric ulcers. For instance, lipoxin A4 was found to improve mitochondrial dysfunction, a factor in gastric ulcer healing[3]. Pogostone, a compound from Pogostemonis Herba, showed protective effects against oxidative damage in gastric tissues[4]. Additionally, the leaves of Cibotium barometz, a traditional Malaysian medicinal plant, demonstrated dose-dependent gastroprotective effects[5]. These studies collectively highlight the potential for natural compounds to provide effective and possibly safer alternatives to conventional ulcer medications. The findings from Tianjin University of Science and Technology not only offer insights into how PSP might be used to treat gastric ulcers but also add to the growing body of evidence that natural substances can have powerful healing effects on the gastrointestinal system. While further research is needed to fully understand the clinical implications of PSP for human health, this study represents a significant step forward in the quest for new and improved ulcer treatments. The ability of PSP to modulate the immune system and protect the gastric mucosa opens up exciting possibilities for those suffering from this painful condition.



Main Study

1) Gastroprotective effects of polysaccharides from purple sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam) on an ethanol-induced gastric ulcer via regulating immunity and activating the PI3K/Akt/Rheb/mTOR pathway.

Published 10th May, 2024


Related Studies

2) Peptic Ulcer Disease: A Brief Review of Conventional Therapy and Herbal Treatment Options.


3) The prospective curative role of lipoxin A4 in induced gastric ulcer in rats: Possible involvement of mitochondrial dynamics signaling pathway.


4) Protective effects of pogostone from Pogostemonis Herba against ethanol-induced gastric ulcer in rats.


5) The antiulcer effect of Cibotium barometz leaves in rats with experimentally induced acute gastric ulcer.


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