Gastric antioxidant, nitrites, and mucosal lipoperoxidation in chronic gastritis and Helicobacter pylori infection

J Clin Gastroenterol. 1996 Jun;22(4):275-81. doi: 10.1097/00004836-199606000-00007.


We have evaluated gastric juice pH, nitrites and vitamin C levels, mucosal glutathione, and malondialdehyde, a marker of lipid peroxidation, in patients with chronic gastritis undergoing endoscopy. Patients had chronic gastritis with (n = 28) or without (n = 60) atrophy and/or concomitant Helicobacter pylori infection. Nineteen healthy subjects, without major macroscopic or histologic changes, were included as controls. Ten subjects were studied before and after H. pylori eradication. Vitamin C levels were low in atrophic gastritis (p < 0.006) and H. pylori infection (p < 0.02). Nitrite concentrations and pH were significantly higher in atrophy (p < 0.005 and 0.0001). Glutathione turnover was higher than normal in gastritis, with higher levels of oxidized glutathione (p < 0.02). Gastric malondialdehyde levels were significantly increased by gastritis (p < 0.05) and H. pylori infection (p < 0.05). Overall, more active gastritis coincided with lower vitamin C levels and higher malondialdehyde levels. After H. pylori eradication a drop in mucosal MDA levels was observed (p = 0.04). In summary, chronic gastritis and H. pylori infection correlate with increased free-radical production, reduced gastric vitamin C levels, and increased glutathione turnover. The possible implications of these changes in the pathogenesis of gastric damage and in carcinogenesis are intriguing.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Ascorbic Acid / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Free Radicals / metabolism
  • Gastric Juice / metabolism*
  • Gastric Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Gastritis / metabolism*
  • Gastritis / microbiology*
  • Gastritis, Atrophic / etiology
  • Gastritis, Atrophic / metabolism*
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Helicobacter Infections*
  • Helicobacter pylori*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Lipid Peroxidation*
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitrites / metabolism*


  • Free Radicals
  • Nitrites
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Glutathione
  • Ascorbic Acid