A research team from Argentina investigated the potential therapeutic effect of exopolysaccharide (EPS)-producing Streptococcus thermophilus CRL 1190 fermented milk on chronic gastritis in mice. They found that both fermented milk and EPS were able to modulate the gastric inflammatory response and to increase the thickness of the gastric mucus gel layer, which could be used in novel functional foods as an alternative natural therapy for chronic gastritis induced by acetyl-salicylic acid.
Gastritis produced by acetyl-salicylic acid (ASA) consumption is a common disorder worldwide. The use of probiotics has been proposed to ameliorate different gastrointestinal tract diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, etc. However, little attention has been paid to the use of probiotics in gastric disease. The health-promoting effects ascribed to probiotic strains or fermented foods arise not only from bacteria themselves but also from the metabolites produced during fermentation such as exopolysaccharides (EPS). These polymers have been claimed to modulate the immune response and to display anti-ulcer activities.
A research article to be published on April 7, 2010 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this question.
The research indicate that the milk fermented with S. thermophilus CRL 1190 and/or its EPS was effective in the therapeutic treatment of chronic gastritis by modulating the immune response of the mice and by increasing the thickness of the gastric mucus gel layer. The fermented milk showed a similar protective effect to omeprazole. The application of this fermented milk and/or its EPS constitutes a potential natural alternative for the prev¬ention and treatment of ASA-associated gastric damage.
Rodríguez C, Medici M, Mozzi F, Font de Valdez G. Therapeutic effect of Streptococcus thermophilus CRL 1190-fermented milk on chronic gastritis. World J Gastroenterol 2010; 16(13): 1622-1630 www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/full/v16/i13/1622.htm