Role of dietary polyphenols in the management of peptic ulcer

World J Gastroenterol. 2015 Jun 7;21(21):6499-517. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i21.6499.


Peptic ulcer disease is a multifactorial and complex disease involving gastric and duodenal ulcers. Despite medical advances, the management of peptic ulcer and its complications remains a challenge, with high morbidity and death rates for the disease. An accumulating body of evidence suggests that, among a broad reach of natural molecules, dietary polyphenols with multiple biological mechanisms of action play a pivotal part in the management of gastric and duodenal ulcers. The current review confirmed that dietary polyphenols possess protective and therapeutic potential in peptic ulcer mediated by: improving cytoprotection, re-epithelialization, neovascularization, and angiogenesis; up-regulating tissue growth factors and prostaglandins; down-regulating anti-angiogenic factors; enhancing endothelial nitric oxide synthase-derived NO; suppressing oxidative mucosal damage; amplifying antioxidant performance, antacid, and anti-secretory activity; increasing endogenous mucosal defensive agents; and blocking Helicobacter pylori colonization associated gastric morphological changes and gastroduodenal inflammation and ulceration. In addition, anti-inflammatory activity due to down-regulation of proinflammatory cytokines and cellular and intercellular adhesion agents, suppressing leukocyte-endothelium interaction, inhibiting nuclear signaling pathways of inflammatory process, and modulating intracellular transduction and transcription pathways have key roles in the anti-ulcer action of dietary polyphenols. In conclusion, administration of a significant amount of dietary polyphenols in the human diet or as part of dietary supplementation along with conventional treatment can result in perfect security and treatment of peptic ulcer. Further well-designed preclinical and clinical tests are recommended in order to recognize higher levels of evidence for the confirmation of bioefficacy and safety of dietary polyphenols in the management of peptic ulcer.

Keywords: Anti-inflammatory; Dietary supplement; Helicobacter pylori; Inflammatory cytokines; Natural medicine; Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; Peptic ulcer; Polyphenols; Ulcer healing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diet*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Duodenal Ulcer / diagnosis
  • Duodenal Ulcer / diet therapy*
  • Duodenal Ulcer / etiology
  • Humans
  • Polyphenols / administration & dosage*
  • Risk Factors
  • Stomach Ulcer / diagnosis
  • Stomach Ulcer / diet therapy*
  • Stomach Ulcer / etiology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Polyphenols