18 May 2005
Grapefruit Extract Shown To Heal Stomach Ulcers
Scientists have discovered that extracts from grapefruit have strong antioxidant properties that can have healing effects on stomach ulcers. "Because grapefruit is acidic in nature, people with ulcers might assume that they should not include the fruit in their diet," said Thomas Brzozowski, lead author of the study presented at the Digestive Disease Week conference.
While grapefruit is a staple in the United States "5-a-day" fruit intake recommendations, grapefruit seed extract (GSE) also contains nutrients with antioxidant properties that can help maintain digestive health. While grapefruit is often associated with acidity and gastro-intestinal irritation, GSE actually possesses antibacterial and antioxidative properties that calm the gastric tract. Brzozowski and fellow researchers from Jagiellonian University Medical College in Poland examined the beneficial healing effects of GSE on preexisting gastric ulcers.
For the study, investigators induced gastric ulcers in rats and applied graded doses of GSE to measure levels of gastric secretion, one the major causes of gastric ulcers. Rats treated with GSE experienced a 50 percent reduction in gastric acid secretion, and a progressive decrease in the area of gastric ulcers. The treatment also prompted a significant rise in blood flow at the ulcer sites. The researchers concluded that treatment with GSE does accelerate ulcer healing activity, combined with effects on gastric acid, gastric blood flow at the ulcer margin and release of gastrin, which promotes ulcer healing.