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An insight into the anti-ulcerogenic potentials of medicinal herbs and their bioactive metabolites

Sowkat Jahan Shipa, Labony Khandokar, Md. Sazzadul Bari, Nazmul Qais, Mohammad Abdur Rashid, Md. Areeful Haque, Isa Naina Mohamed
Journal of ethnopharmacology 2022 v.293 pp. 115245
Helicobacter pylori, chemical constituents of plants, cytokines, drug therapy, flora, gastrointestinal system, humans, metabolites, peptic ulcers, secretion, traditional medicine
Peptic ulcer disease (PUD) ranks top among the most prominent gastrointestinal problems prevalent around the world. Long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, pathogenic infection by Helicobacter pylori, imbalances between gastrointestinal regulatory factors and pathological hyperacidity are major contributors towards the development of peptic ulcers. Although synthetic drugs of multiple pharmacological classes are abundantly available, inadequacy of such agents in ensuring complete recovery in not uncommon. Therefore, pharmacological explorations of herbal products including plant extracts and their respective isolated phytoconstituents, for potential gastroprotective and antiulcer properties, are regular practice among the scientific community. Moreover, the historical preferences of a significant share of world population towards herbal-based medication over modern synthetic drugs also contribute significantly to such endeavors. This review has endeavored to present ethnomedicinal and pharmacological prospects of a significant number of authenticated plant species in terms of their capacity to exert gastroprotection and antiulcer activities both in vitro and in vivo. The information delineated along the way was further subjected to critical analysis to ascertain the possible future prospects of such findings into designing plant-derived products in future for the treatment of peptic ulcer. Electronic version of prominent bibliographic databases, including Google Scholar, PubMed, Scopus, ScienceDirect, Wiley Online Library, SpringerLink, Web of Science, and MEDLINE were explored extensively for the identification and compilation of relevant information. The plant names and respective family names were verified through the Plant List (version 1.1) and World Flora Online 2021. All relevant chemical structures were verified through PubChem and SciFinder databases and illustrated with ChemDraw Ultra 12.0. A colossal number of 97 plant species categorized under 58 diverse plant families have been discussed in the review for their gastroprotective and antiulcer properties. In vivo illustrations of the pharmacological properties were achieved for almost all the species under consideration. 29 individual phytoconstituents from these sources were also characterized with similar pharmacological potentials. Majority of the plant extracts as well as their constituents were found to exert their gastroprotective effects through antioxidative pathway featuring both enzymatic and nonenzymatic mechanism. Moreover, active inhibition of acid secretion, upregulation of gastroprotective mediators and downregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines, were also associated with a prominent number of plants or products thereof. Comparative evaluations of the plant sources for their antiulcer activities, both as individual and as combination formulations, are necessary to be conducted in human subjects under properly regulated clinical conditions. Moreover, the efficacy and safety of such products should also be evaluated against those of the currently available treatment options. This will further facilitate in ascertaining their suitability and superiority, if any, in the treatment of peptic ulcer diseases. Implementation of these endeavors may eventually lead to development of more efficient treatment options in the future.