Decreasing stress-induced gastritis

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 21 Feb 2018

Positive outlook: Prof Nafeeza showing her research results from rat studies looking into the effects of palm vitamin E on stress-induced gastritis.

SUNGAI BULOH: Suffering from stress-induced gastritis? Palm vitamin E may be the solution.

Studies on the use of this vitamin in rats have shown that it reduces stress-induced gastritis.

The rats, which were pre-treated with palm vitamin E, had gastritis induced in them following the stress of being immersed in water.

When examined afterwards, they had reduced formation of stress-induced gastritis and reduced oxidative stress, said Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Professor Dr Nafeeza Mohd Ismail.

“This could mean that palm vitamin E reduces oxidants, which could damage the rats’ cells,” said the molecular pharmacology and advanced therapeutics research group head.

Prof Nafeeza said that stress can activate the production of various hormones, including the “fight or flight” hormones noradrenaline and adrenaline from the adrenergic system (part of the nervous system).

But she and her research team at UiTM, and later, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), found that palm vitamin E appears to suppress the adrenergic system, she said.

“There is reduced stomach cramps, and the reduced noradrenaline and adrenaline levels lead to better perfusion (blood flow) to the stomach lining.

“Because it improved the blood flow, it helps improve stress-induced gastritis,” she said.

She added that she hoped to get funding to carry out clinical trials in humans and collaborate with interested gastroenterologists.

Prof Nafeeza had earlier done similar research on rats placed in plastic containers to induce stress and similar results were obtained.

Palm oil has two types of vitamin E – 78% tocotrienols and 22% tocopherols – and Prof Nafeeza said its high content of tocotrienols, also known as tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF), has better antioxidant properties.

She has also previously conducted research on the effect of tocotrienols from the annatto plant in delaying cataracts in diabetic rabbits.

These rabbits were pre-treated with annatto tocotrienols (ATT) daily for three weeks, after which a diabetic-like-state was induced by giving them streptozotocin.

“We then monitored the cataract progression and found that ATT slowed down the progression compared to the control group,” she said.

Asked if she could do such research for palm vitamin E, Prof Nafeeza said she would need funding for it.

She said that the use of palm vitamin E to delay cataracts could save the Government a lot of money as Malaysia has a huge population of people with diabetes and a growing population of ageing citizens who suffer from cataracts.

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