Protective effects of cysteine, methionine and vitamin C on the stomach in chronically alcohol treated rats

J Appl Toxicol. 2008 Jul;28(5):591-8. doi: 10.1002/jat.1308.


A chronic intake of high dose alcohol may cause oxidative stress and inflammation in the stomach. It is hypothesized that cysteine-methionine and vitamin C may neutralize harmful compounds while potentiating the antioxidant capacity of the cell or tissue. The experimental animals were fed regular diets and were maintained for 90 days in the control group, the alcoholic group, which was given 2.5 g of 50% ethanol kg(-1) body wt. administered intragastrically every other day, or the alcoholic with antioxidant supplement group, to whom 2.5 g of 50% ethanol kg(-1) body wt. + a solution that contained 200 mg vitamin C, 100 mg cysteine and 100 mg methionine was administered intragastrically every other day. After the treatments, the stomach was taken for pathological and biochemical analysis. The stomach of the alcoholic group rats had higher scores of pathological findings compared with the control group, whereas the scores of the antioxidant-supplemented group were lower than the alcoholic group. In addition, the oxidized protein and lipid content in the stomachs of the alcoholic group were significantly higher than the control, but antioxidant supplementation lowered the amount of oxidation in the antioxidant supplemented group. The amount of stomach glutathione in the alcoholic group was higher than that of the control and antioxidant-supplemented groups. Interestingly, the level of total thiol in the stomach tissue of rats with antioxidant supplement was statistically higher than that of the control and alcoholic groups. In conclusion, the scores of the pathological findings in the stomach of rats with the antioxidant supplement were lower than the chronic alcohol-treated rats, albeit the amount of total thiol was increased in this group. Moreover, chronic alcohol treatment led to an increase in the level of lipid and protein oxidation in the stomach tissue of rats. A simultaneous intake of ascorbate/l-cys/l-met along with ethanol attenuated the amount of oxidation which suggested that cysteine-methionine and vitamin C could play a protective role in the stomach against oxidative damage resulting from chronic alcohol ingestion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetaldehyde / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Central Nervous System Depressants*
  • Cysteine / pharmacology*
  • Ethanol*
  • Free Radicals / metabolism
  • Gastric Mucosa / pathology
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Methionine / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Stomach Ulcer / chemically induced
  • Stomach Ulcer / pathology
  • Stomach Ulcer / prevention & control*


  • Antioxidants
  • Central Nervous System Depressants
  • Free Radicals
  • Ethanol
  • Methionine
  • Glutathione
  • Acetaldehyde
  • Cysteine
  • Ascorbic Acid