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Micronutrient antioxidants in gastric mucosa and serum in patients with gastritis and gastric ulcer: does Helicobacter pylori infection affect the mucosal levels?

Nair S; Norkus EP; Hertan H; Pitchumoni CS
Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology 2000 Jun;30(4):381-5

Free radicals (FRs) play an important role in the pathogenesis of gastroduodenal mucosal inflammation, peptic ulcer disease, and probably even gastric cancer. Various micronutrients protect the gastric mucosa by scavenging FRs. Only limited data is available regarding the concentration of micronutrients in the gastric mucosa in patients with gastritis and peptic ulcer disease. Our aim was to analyze micronutrient antioxidant concentrations in the antral mucosa in patients with gastritis and gastric ulcer and to determine the influence of Helicobacter pylori infection on gastric mucosal antioxidants in patients with gastritis and gastric ulcer. Patients who underwent upper endoscopy for evaluation of dyspepsia were included in the study. Ascorbic acid, alpha-tocopherol, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, total carotenoids, lutein, cryptoxanthin, and lycopene levels were measured in the sera and antral mucosal biopsies in these patients. The diagnosis of H. pylori was confirmed by histology, urease test (CLO) and serology. Patients with negative endoscopic findings and normal histology and no H. pylori infection served as controls. In patients with gastritis, alpha-tocopherol levels were reduced in serum and mucosa irrespective of H. pylori status, whereas carotenoids and ascorbic acid levels were similar to controls. However, in patients with gastric ulcer, serum and mucosal levels of all micronutrient antioxidants were markedly decreased compared with both controls and patients with gastritis. The degree of depletion of antioxidants was similar in patients with either H. pylori-induced or nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID)-induced ulcers. Patients with gastric ulcer have very low gastric antioxidant concentrations compared to patients with gastritis and normal mucosa. This depletion in antioxidants seems to be a nonspecific response and was not related to H. pylori infection.

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