Anti-ulcer effects of chitin and chitosan, healthy foods, in rats.


Ito M, Ban A, Ishihara M




Jpn J Pharmacol


In this study, we compared the effects of low molecular weight (LMW) chitosan (MW: 25,000-50,000), high molecular weight (HMW) chitosan (MW: 500,000-1000,000) and chitin on ethanol-induced gastric mucosal injury and on the healing of acetic acid-induced gastric ulcers in rats. Oral administration of LMW chitosan (250, 500 and 1000 mg/kg) dose-dependently prevented ethanol-induced gastric mucosal injury. Repeated oral administration of LMW chitosan (100, 200 and 400 mg/kg twice daily) also dose-dependently accelerated the gastric ulcer healing. However, the effects of HMW chitosan and chitin on the gastric mucosal injury formation and the gastric ulcer healing were less potent than those of LMW chitosan. LMW chitosan (250 and 500 mg/kg, orally) was ineffective in inhibiting gastric acid secretion in pylorus-ligated rats, although it had a weak acid-neutralizing action. LMW-chitosan (250, 500 and 1000 mg/kg orally) dose-dependently prevented the decrease in gastric mucus content induced by ethanol. These results indicate that of the three compounds, LMW chitosan has the most potent gastric cytoprotective and ulcer healing-promoting actions. In addition, gastric mucus-increasing action of LMW-chitosan may be, at least in part, related to the anti-ulcer effect of this compound.