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Life Extension Magazine November 2013

Raft alginate

Effect of alginate and alginate-cimetidine combination therapy on stimulated postprandial gastro-oesophageal reflux.

This randomized, single-blind cross-over study compared the effectiveness of a conventional alginate reflux barrier formulation (20 mL single dose of Liquid Gaviscon; sodium alginate, sodium bicarbonate, calcium carbonate) with a 20 mL single dose of an alginate-cimetidine combination formulation (Algitec Suspension; sodium alginate, cimetidine) in the suppression of food and acid reflux into the oesophagus after a test meal in 12 healthy volunteers. Subjects were fasted overnight before the study. A pH electrode and gamma detector were accurately positioned 5 cm above the cardia. The volunteers received a 99mTc-labelled meal designed to provoke reflux and then either remained untreated, or 30 min later were given either Algitec Suspension or Liquid Gaviscon. Reflux of both food and acid into the oesophagus was measured for 3 h. There was a seven day wash-out period between each treatment. Food reflux in the control group was 22,878 +/- 14,385 counts x 10(3) and this was significantly suppressed by both Liquid Gaviscon (174 +/- 128 (s.e.) counts x 10(3); P = 0.003); however, although the reduction of food reflux to 3812 +/- 2322 counts x 10(3) observed after Algitec treatment was considerable, this did not reach statistical significance (P > 0.05) due to the large intersubject variation. Liquid Gaviscon was significantly better at reducing food reflux than Algitec (P = 0.001). Gaviscon also significantly reduced acid reflux when compared with the control group (1.08 +/- 0.73 vs 5.87 +/- 3.27% recording time oesophageal pH < 4, respectively) (P = 0.03). The slight reduction in acid reflux after Algitec treatment (3.25 +/- 1.82% recording time oesophageal pH < 4) also did not reach statistical significance. The difference between Algitec and Gaviscon treatment was also not significant.

J Pharm Pharmacol. 1995 Nov;47(11):879-82

Rapid onset of effect of sodium alginate on gastro-oesophageal reflux compared with ranitidine and omeprazole, and relationship between symptoms and reflux episodes.

The objective of the open, randomised, four-period crossover study was to compare the time of onset of effect of sodium alginate (SA), omeprazole, ranitidine and control, based on oesophageal and intragastric pH and to determine any correlation between reflux symptoms and episodes in volunteers suffering from occasional gastro-oesophageal reflux. SA showed extensive prevention of acid exposure in the oesophagus compared with other treatments during the first hour. Overall, SA was more effective than control or omeprazole and comparable with ranitidine. There was little evidence of association between ‘oesophageal’ symptoms and reflux episodes, but associations between ‘gastric’ symptoms and acidity in the oesophagus, fundus and corpus were apparent. For an immediate reduction in gastro-oesophageal reflux into the oesophagus and gastric acidity during the first hour, SA was significantly superior to control, ranitidine and omeprazole. Ranitidine showed a superior effect from 2 h, consistent with its pharmacological mode of action.

Int J Clin Pract. 2006 Mar;60(3):275-83

Gastroprotective and ulcer-healing mechanisms of ellagic acid in experimental rats.

Ellagic acid (EA), a plant-derived polyphenol, exhibits antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and gastroprotective effects. Its gastroprotective mechanisms have not been fully elucidated nor have its effects on chronic ulcer previously been described. Toward these ends, the antiulcer activities of EA were evaluated in acute (ethanol and indomethacin) and chronic (acetic acid) ulcer models in Wistar rats. In this study, oral administration of EA significantly prevented the gastric ulceration caused by ethanol, indomethacin, and acetic acid treatments. Its gastroprotective mechanism in ethanol-induced ulcer were partly due to intensification in the endogenous production of nitric oxide, an antioxidant effect by replenishing depletion of endogenous nonprotein sulfhydryls and attenuation of tumor necrosis factor-α increase, whereas in indomethacin ulcer, it is partly due to a reduction in the plasma level of leukotriene B(4). In acetic acid ulcer, promotion of ulcer-healing effects was partly due to attenuation of the elevated levels of the inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, interferon-γ, and interleukins-4 and -6. These findings suggest that ellagic acid exerts its antiulcer activity by strengthening the defensive factors and attenuating the offensive factors.

J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Jul 13;59(13):6957-65

Strawberry polyphenols attenuate ethanol-induced gastric lesions in rats by activation of antioxidant enzymes and attenuation of MDA increase.

BACKGROUND AND AIM: Free radicals are implicated in the aetiology of gastrointestinal disorders such as gastric ulcer, colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. Strawberries are common and important fruit due to their high content of essential nutrient and beneficial phytochemicals which seem to have relevant biological activity on human health. In the present study we investigated the antioxidant and protective effects of three strawberry extracts against ethanol-induced gastric mucosa damage in an experimental in vivo model and to test whether strawberry extracts affect antioxidant enzyme activities in gastric mucosa. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Strawberry extracts were obtained from Adria, Sveva and Alba cultivars. Total antioxidant capacity and radical scavenging capacity were performed by TEAC, ORAC and electron paramagnetic resonance assays. Identification and quantification of anthocyanins was carried out by HPLC-DAD-MS analyses. Different groups of animals received 40 mg/day/kg body weight of strawberry crude extracts for 10 days. Gastric damage was induced by ethanol. The ulcer index was calculated together with the determination of catalase and SOD activities and MDA contents. Strawberry extracts are rich in anthocyanins and present important antioxidant capacity. Ethanol caused severe gastric damage and strawberry consumption protected against its deleterious role. Antioxidant enzyme activities increased significantly after strawberry extract intake and a concomitantly decrease in gastric lipid peroxidation was found. A significant correlation between total anthocyanin content and percent of inhibition of ulcer index was also found. CONCLUSIONS: Strawberry extracts prevented exogenous ethanol-induced damage to rats’ gastric mucosa. These effects seem to be associated with the antioxidant activity and phenolic content in the extract as well as with the capacity of promoting the action of antioxidant enzymes. A diet rich in strawberries might exert a beneficial effect in the prevention of gastric diseases related to generation of reactive oxygen species.

PLoS One. 2011;6(10):e25878

Inhibition of N-nitrosomethylbenzylamine-induced tumorigenesis in the rat esophagus by dietary freeze-dried strawberries.

In the present study, we examined the ability of dietary freeze-dried strawberries to inhibit N-nitrosomethylbenzylamine (NMBA)-induced tumorigenesis in the rat esophagus. Initially, we conducted a bioassay to determine the effects of dietary freeze-dried strawberries on esophageal tumor development. Two weeks prior to NMBA treatment, animals were placed on a control diet or diets containing 5 and 10% freeze-dried strawberries. NMBA treatment was once per week for 15 weeks. At 30 weeks, 5 and 10% freeze-dried strawberries in the diet caused significant reductions in esophageal tumor multiplicity of 24 and 56%, respectively. Based on these results, we conducted studies to determine potential mechanisms by which freeze-dried strawberries inhibit tumorigenesis. In a short-term bioassay, we evaluated the effects of dietary freeze-dried strawberries on the formation of O6-methylguanine in the rat esophagus. Animals were placed on control diet or diets containing 5 and 10% freeze-dried strawberries for two weeks. At the end of this period, animals received a single subcutaneous dose of NMBA and were killed 24 h later. A significant decrease in O6-methylguanine levels was observed in the esophageal DNA of animals fed strawberries, suggesting that one or more components in strawberries influence the metabolism of NMBA to DNA-damaging species. Finally, in order to evaluate post-initiation effects, we conducted a study where freeze-dried strawberries were administered in the diet only following NMBA treatment. Animals were placed on control diet and dosed with NMBA three times per week for 5 weeks. Immediately following NMBA treatment, animals were placed on control diet or diets containing 5 and 10% freeze-dried strawberries. At 25 weeks, 5 and 10% freeze-dried strawberries in the diet significantly reduced tumor multiplicity by 38 and 31%, respectively. Our data suggest that dietary freeze-dried strawberries effectively inhibit NMBA-induced tumorigenesis in the rat esophagus.

Carcinogenesis. 2001 Mar;22(3):441-6

Symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux as a risk factor for esophageal adenocarcinoma.

BACKGROUND: The causes of adenocarcinomas of the esophagus and gastric cardia are poorly understood. We conducted an epidemiologic investigation of the possible association between gastroesophageal reflux and these tumors. METHODS: We performed a nationwide, population-based, case-control study in Sweden. Case ascertainment was rapid, and all cases were classified uniformly. Information on the subjects’ history of gastroesophageal reflux was collected in personal interviews. The odds ratios were calculated by logistic regression, with multivariate adjustment for potentially confounding variables. RESULTS: Of the patients interviewed, the 189 with esophageal adenocarcinoma and the 262 with adenocarcinoma of the cardia constituted 85 percent of the 529 patients in Sweden who were eligible for the study during the period from 1995 through 1997. For comparison, we interviewed 820 control subjects from the general population and 167 patients with esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma. Among persons with recurrent symptoms of reflux, as compared with persons without such symptoms, the odds ratios were 7.7 (95 percent confidence interval, 5.3 to 11.4) for esophageal adenocarcinoma and 2.0 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.4 to 2.9) for adenocarcinoma of the cardia. The more frequent, more severe, and longer-lasting the symptoms of reflux, the greater the risk. Among persons with long-standing and severe symptoms of reflux, the odds ratios were 43.5 (95 percent confidence interval, 18.3 to 103.5) for esophageal adenocarcinoma and 4.4 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.7 to 11.0) for adenocarcinoma of the cardia. The risk of esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma was not associated with reflux (odds ratio, 1.1; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.7 to 1.9). CONCLUSIONS: There is a strong and probably causal relation between gastroesophageal reflux and esophageal adenocarcinoma. The relation between reflux and adenocarcinoma of the gastric cardia is relatively weak.

N Engl J Med. 1999 Mar 18;340(11):825-31

Review article: alginate-raft formulations in the treatment of heartburn and acid reflux.

Alginate-based raft-forming formulations have been marketed word-wide for over 30 years under various brand names, including Gaviscon. They are used for the symptomatic treatment of heartburn and oesophagitis, and appear to act by a unique mechanism which differs from that of traditional antacids. In the presence of gastric acid, alginates precipitate, forming a gel. Alginate-based raft-forming formulations usually contain sodium or potassium bicarbonate; in the presence of gastric acid, the bicarbonate is converted to carbon dioxide which becomes entrapped within the gel precipitate, converting it into a foam which floats on the surface of the gastric contents, much like a raft on water. Both in vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated that alginate-based rafts can entrap carbon dioxide, as well as antacid components contained in some formulations, thus providing a relatively pH-neutral barrier. Several studies have demonstrated that the alginate raft can preferentially move into the oesophagus in place, or ahead, of acidic gastric contents during episodes of gastro-oesophageal reflux; some studies further suggest that the raft can act as a physical barrier to reduce reflux episodes. Although some alginate-based formulations also contain antacid components which can provide significant acid neutralization capacity, the efficacy of these formulations to reduce heartburn symptoms does not appear to be totally dependent on the neutralization of bulk gastric contents. The strength of the alginate raft is dependant on several factors, including the amount of carbon dioxide generated and entrapped in the raft, the molecular properties of the alginate, and the presence of aluminium or calcium in the antacid components of the formulation. Raft formation occurs rapidly, often within a few seconds of dosing; hence alginate-containing antacids are comparable to traditional antacids for speed of onset of relief. Since the raft can be retained in the stomach for several hours, alginate-based raft-forming formulations can additionally provide longer-lasting relief than that of traditional antacids. Indeed, clinical studies have shown Gaviscon is superior to placebo, and equal to or significantly better than traditional antacids for relieving heartburn symptoms. Alginate-based, raft-forming formulations have been used to treat reflux symptoms in infants and children, and in the management of heartburn and reflux during pregnancy. While Gaviscon is effective when used alone, it is compatible with, and does not interfere with the activity of antisecretory agents such as cimetidine. Even with the introduction of new antisecretory and promotility agents, alginate-rafting formulations will continue to have a role in the treatment of heartburn and reflux symptoms. Their unique non-systemic mechanism of action provides rapid and long-duration relief of heartburn and acid reflux symptoms.

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2000 Jun;14(6):669-90

The value of a liquid alginate suspension (Gaviscon Advance) in the management of laryngopharyngeal reflux.

Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) refers to the backflow of stomach contents into the laryngopharynx. Increasing evidence has demonstrated that LPR is a contributing factor in some cases of hoarseness, vocal fatigue, voice breaks, cough and globus and chronic throat clearing. However, several randomised placebo-controlled trials of proton pump inhibitors in the treatment of LPR have been reported with the majority showing no significant benefit in patient symptom scores over placebo. The aim of this pilot clinical study was to investigate whether any improvement in LPR-related symptoms, using the Reflux Symptom Index (RSI), and clinical findings, using the Reflux Finding Score (RFS), could be achieved with treatment with a liquid alginate suspension compared to control (no treatment). Patients presenting with the symptoms of LPR to the Otorhinolaryngology Outpatient Department at the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK were considered eligible if they had an RSI of greater than 10 and an RFS greater than 5 based on a fibreoptic examination of the larynx. A total of 49 patients were randomised into the open, parallel group study; 24 patients were randomised to receive 10 ml liquid alginate suspension (Gaviscon Advance) four times daily after meals and at bedtime, and 25 patients into the control group (no treatment). Patients were assessed pre-treatment and at 2, 4 and 6 months post treatment. Mean (SD) RSI and RFS pre-treatment scores were 23.9 (7.0) and 10.4 (3.6) for the treatment group and 24.6 (7.4) and 10.3 (3.3) for the control group, respectively. Significant differences between treatment and control were observed for RSI at the 2-month (11.2 (7.0) vs. 16.8 (6.4), P=0.005) and 6-month (11.2 (8.1) vs. 18.3 (9.4), P=0.008) assessments and for RFS at the 6-month (7.1 (2.8) vs. 9.5 (3.4), P=0.005) assessment. Significant improvement in symptom scores and clinical findings were achieved with liquid alginate suspension (Gaviscon Advance) compared to control and further evaluation for the management of patients presenting with LPR is warranted.

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2009 Feb;266(2):243-51

Gaviscon® vs. omeprazole in symptomatic treatment of moderate gastroesophageal reflux. a direct comparative randomised trial.

BACKGROUND: Medical management of GERD mainly uses proton pump inhibitors. Alginates also have proven efficacy. The aim of this trial was to compare short-term efficacy of an alginate (Gaviscon®, 4 × 10 mL/day) and omeprazole (20 mg/day) on GERD symptoms in general practice. METHODS: A 14-day multicentre randomised double-blind double-dummy non-inferiority trial compared Gaviscon® (4 × 10 mL/day) and omeprazole (20 mg/day) in patients with 2-6 day heartburn episodes weekly without alarm signals. The primary outcome was the mean time to onset of the first 24-h heartburn-free period after initial dosing. Secondary outcomes were the proportion of patients without heartburn by D7, pain relief by D7, and reduction in pain intensity by D7 and D14. RESULTS: 278 patients were recruited; 120 were included in the Gaviscon® group and 121 in the omeprazole group for the per protocol non-inferiority analysis. The mean time to onset of the first 24-h heartburn-free period after initial dosing was 2.0 (± 2.2) days for Gaviscon® and 2.0 (± 2.3) days for omeprazole (p = 0.93); mean intergroup difference was 0.01 ± 1.55 days (95% CI = -0.41 to 0.43): i.e., less than the lower limit of the 95% CI of -0.5 days predetermined to demonstrate non-inferiority. The mean number of heartburn-free days by D7 was significantly greater in the omeprazole group: 3.7 ± 2.3 days vs. 3.1 ± 2.1 (p = 0.02). On D7, overall quality of pain relief was slightly in favour of omeprazole (p = 0.049). There was no significant difference in the reduction in pain intensity between groups by D7 (p = 0.11) or D14 (p = 0.08). Tolerance and safety were good and comparable in both groups. CONCLUSION: Gaviscon® was non-inferior to omeprazole in achieving a 24-h heartburn-free period in moderate episodic heartburn, and is a relevant effective alternative treatment in moderate GERD in primary care.

BMC Gastroenterol . 2012 Feb 23;12:18

A comparison between sodium alginate and magaldrate anhydrous in the treatment of patients with gastroesophageal reflux symptoms.

The aims of the present study were to compare effects of sodium alginate and the antacid magaldrate anhydrous in adults with gastroesophageal reflux (GOR) symptoms. Patients with heartburn and/or acid regurgitation for at least 3 days in the week before the study started (n=203) were randomized to receive a single dose of sodium alginate or magaldrate anhydrous at the onset of symptoms during a 3-day run-in period. Patients with symptoms during the run-in (n=191) were rerandomized to receive a 14-day treatment with either drug given as four daily doses. A speed of action < or =30 min was significantly more frequent among patients in the alginate group (49.4% vs. 40.4%; P=0.0074). A trend toward a more prolonged duration of action (median: 16.5 vs. 12.7 hr) and a greater sum of the symptom intensity difference (median: 40.0 vs. 31.0) was observed in the sodium alginate group. Total disappearance of symptoms was reported in 81.6% and 73.9% of patients in the sodium alginate group and magaldrate group, respectively. We conclude that sodium alginate was faster than magaldrate in relieving GRO symptoms and showed a tendency toward a more prolonged duration of action and a higher level of efficacy.

Dig Dis Sci . 2006 Nov;51(11):1904-9.