Gastroprotective effects of flavonoids in plant extracts

J Physiol Pharmacol. 2005 Mar;56 Suppl 1:219-31.


The purpose of this paper is to overview the relations between plant-originated substances and their bioactivity measured in terms of antioxidant, cytoprotective and antiulcer activities. In addition, we assessed whether these compounds are capable of affecting the gastric mucosal lesions induced by absolute ethanol applied intragastrically (i.g.). The following plant-originated flavonoid substances were considered; Solon (Sophoradin extract), Amaranth seed extract, grapefruit-seed extract (GSE) and capsaicin (extract of chilly pepper). The area of gastric mucosa lesions and gastric blood flow were measured in rats with ethanol-induced lesions without (control) and with one of the tested substances without and with capsaicin denervation of afferent nerves or administration of L-nitro-arginine (L-NNA), an inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase (NOS). Male Wistar rats, weighing 180-220 g fasted for 24 h before the study where used 100% ethanol was applied i.g. to induce gastric lesions, whose area was determined by planimetry. Gastric blood flow was assessed using electrolytic regional blood flowmeter. All tested plant-originated substances afforded gastroprotection against ethanol-induced damage and this was accompanied by increase in gastric microcirculation, both changes being reversed by pretreatment with neurotoxic dose of capsaicin or by pretreatment with L-NNA. We conclude that plant-originated flavonoid substances are highly gastroprotective probably due to enhancement of the expression of constitutive NOS and release of NO and neuropeptides such as calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP) released from sensory afferent nerves increasing gastric microcirculation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / pharmacology*
  • Chalcones / pharmacology
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Gastric Mucosa / drug effects
  • Male
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Stomach Ulcer / prevention & control


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents
  • Chalcones
  • Flavonoids
  • Plant Extracts
  • sofalcone