Aloe Vera Gel Eases Stomach Ulcers by Curbing Inflammation

Jenn Hoskins
9th March, 2024

Aloe Vera Gel Eases Stomach Ulcers by Curbing Inflammation

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • In a study at Assiut University, Aloe vera reduced the severity of alcohol-induced stomach ulcers in rats
  • Aloe vera increased protective antioxidants and decreased markers of inflammation and cell damage in the stomach
  • The findings suggest Aloe vera could be a natural alternative for treating gastric ulcers by targeting oxidative stress and inflammation
Gastric ulcers are painful sores in the lining of the stomach that affect millions of people worldwide. They can be caused by various factors, including the consumption of alcohol, which irritates the stomach lining and can lead to inflammation and tissue damage. Researchers at Assiut University have turned their attention to a natural remedy that has been used for centuries to treat a range of ailments: Aloe vera[1]. Known for its soothing properties when applied to the skin, Aloe vera has also been suggested to have beneficial effects when ingested, particularly for digestive issues. In the study conducted by Assiut University, scientists aimed to understand whether Aloe vera could help heal gastric ulcers caused by alcohol and to uncover the mechanisms by which it might work. To investigate this, they used a rat model, a common method for studying human diseases. The rats were divided into four groups: a control group, an ulcer group that was given ethanol to induce ulcers, a group treated with pantoprazole (a standard anti-ulcer medication), and a group treated with Aloe vera. The researchers assessed the severity of the ulcers by measuring the ulcer index, which takes into account the number and size of ulcers. They also looked at the pH level of the stomach, as a lower pH (more acidic) is typically associated with ulcer formation. Additionally, they measured levels of specific substances in the stomach and blood that are markers of inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which are known to be involved in the development of ulcers. The results were promising. Rats treated with Aloe vera showed a significant decrease in the number and severity of ulcers compared to the untreated ulcer group. They also had higher levels of reduced glutathione (GSH), a molecule that protects cells from oxidative stress, and lower levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), which indicates oxidative damage. Furthermore, Aloe vera reduced the expression of NLRP3 and gasdermin D (GSDMD) mRNA, proteins that are involved in inflammation and cell death, suggesting that Aloe vera may help dampen the inflammatory response and protect stomach cells from dying. These findings align with earlier research that has highlighted the role of oxidative stress and inflammation in gastric ulcers. For instance, studies have shown that compounds such as α-mangostin from Lichuan black tea can help alleviate gastric ulcers by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation[2]. Similarly, ethanol has been found to activate inflammatory pathways such as the NLRP3 inflammasome, contributing to various non-communicable diseases, including gastric ulcers[3]. The Assiut University study adds to this body of work by suggesting that Aloe vera may counteract these effects, thus offering a potential natural treatment option. Another aspect of ulcer formation is the role of alcohol metabolism, particularly the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2)[4]. Previous research has shown that activating ALDH2 can reduce the severity of gastric ulcers by mitigating oxidative stress and inflammation. The Aloe vera study does not directly address the role of ALDH2, but the reduction in oxidative stress and inflammation observed with Aloe vera treatment may suggest a potential area for future research to explore whether Aloe vera also affects alcohol metabolism and ALDH2 activity. In conclusion, the study from Assiut University provides evidence that Aloe vera could be an effective treatment for alcohol-induced gastric ulcers. It seems to work by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the stomach, which are key factors in the development of ulcers. While more research, especially in humans, is needed to confirm these results and fully understand the mechanisms involved, this study offers hope for those seeking alternative treatments for this common and painful condition.

MedicineBiochemPlant Science


Main Study

1) Aloe vera gel confers therapeutic effect by reducing pyroptosis in ethanol-induced gastric ulcer rat model: Role of NLRP3/GSDMD signaling pathway.

Published 8th March, 2024

Related Studies

2) α-Mangostin suppresses ethanol-induced gastric ulceration by regulating the Nrf2/HO-1 and NF-κB/NLRP3/caspase-1 signaling pathways and gut microbiota.

3) Ethanol causes non-communicable disease through activation of NLRP3 inflammasome: a review on mechanism of action and potential interventions.

4) ALDH2 ameliorates ethanol-induced gastric ulcer through suppressing NLPR3 inflammasome activation and ferroptosis.

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