Liquor, as we probably are aware is a most concerning issue in this world; it has an awful impact on social, mental and, in addition, physical condition of a drinker. Above all it incites serious sickness including gastric mucosal harm, liver ailments, queasiness, retching, and mind harm and among these, gastric mucosal damage and hepatocellular carcinoma (liver growth) are most every now and again watched.
The gastric gland (stomach) is the major organ to be affected by drinking alcohol, as this is the first place where alcohol reached and then it is transported to the liver which only can metabolize the alcohol and the process of detoxification occurs. Alcohol for the stomach is actually an irritant which induces oxidative stress environment inside the gastric mucosa if this oxidative stress persists for a long time it causes the gastric mucosal injury commonly known as a gastric or peptic ulcer.
Let’s see what actually gastric ulcer is?
A gastric ulcer is a clinical condition characterized by ulceration of the surface of the gastric mucosa. Symptoms of gastric ulcer include abdominal discomfort, severe pain, nausea and a burning sensation in the stomach
How gastric ulcer occurs, I mean what are the reason/ etiological agents that cause gastric ulcer?
The occurrence of an ulcer is the most common disorder of the gastrointestinal tract and has multiple etiologies. There are various aggressive factors such as hydrochloric acid, pepsin, and bile salts, which cause gastric mucosal injury, and there are also gastro-protective factors such as mucus bicarbonate layers to defend the mucosa. These factors act in a balanced manner under normal physiological conditions, but any imbalance in these factors can cause gastric mucosal damage resulting in gastric ulcer.
Besides aggressive factors, consumption of alcohol is found to be a major contributor to gastric ulceration. Among the various organ systems that mediate alcohol’s effects on the human body, the gastrointestinal tract plays a particularly important role. Alcohol absorption into the bloodstream occurs throughout the gastrointestinal tract, and its direct contact with the mucosa can induce numerous metabolic and functional changes. These alterations may lead to marked mucosal damage, which can result in a broad spectrum of acute and chronic diseases, such as gastrointestinal bleeding and ulcer.
What are the therapeutic treatments available for gastric ulceration?
Normally, anti-inflammatory drugs are recommended in alcohol-induced gastric ulceration and Omeprazole is an approved drug for it. Although, these anti-inflammatory drugs have been found to be effective in this case, the adverse effect of these drugs to the immune system and other tissues such as kidneys limit the use of these drugs.
We in our research introduced a drug named thymol, which effectively can treat this ulceration with no side effect in fact it potentiate the immunity as well.
What is Thymol and where it comes from?
Thymol is a natural phenolic compound grouped in monoterpenes and found abundantly in many medicinal plants specially ajwain (enriched with 50% of thymol) that we use in our daily routine life as a cooking spice. We have carried out a research previously and demonstrated that thymol which most of the time I use to call Ajwain, has a potent immunostimulation potential.
We determined that 10mg/kg body weight concentration of thymol can effectively recover the damage induced by alcohol. We have given 95% of ethanol (alcohol) to experimental healthy rats before giving the ethanol we have given a dose thymol (10mg/kg) and the standard drug omeprazole (20mg/kg) to the rats before 1 hour of alcohol administration. One group of rats was given alcohol only to determine the degree of damage.
Above is the image showing the degree of damage and the degree of protection by thymol, and here is the description of the image.
(A). Is normal gastric mucosa of rats which has received normal saline only, (B) is alcohol treatment showing the severe bleeding and disrupted integrity of gastric mucosa, (C) is omeprazole pre- treatment which shows a very less damage to the mucosa and (D) is the thymol group which is very similar to the standard drug omeprazole.
So, we in our work concluded that thymol can protect the gastric mucosal injury induced by the alcohol consumption. But what I want to conclude here is, make your habit of using ajwain in food and those who are drunker they should use it routinely and should increase the amount than the normal.
Ajwain/Thymol can protect your stomach does not mean now you can increase the drinking volume. It is always like prevention is better than cure, so it is recommended not to drink too much as you can see the figure (B) how much damage it causes to your stomach.
Remember- “Alcohol is a drug, food and poison depend on the dose” – anonymous
Note: This work has been accepted for publication in an International Biomedical Journal – Alcohol