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J Physiol Pharmacol. 2009 Dec;60 Suppl 7:87-92.

Alcoholic beverages and gastric epithelial cell viability: effect on oxidative stress-induced damage.

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Centro Interuniversitario di Ricerca su Alimenti, Nutrizione e Apparato Digerente - Dipartimento Medico-Chirurgico di Internistica Clinica e Sperimentale F. Magrassi e A. Lanzara, Seconda Universita di Napoli, Italia.


Alcohol is known to cause damage to the gastric epithelium independently of gastric acid secretion. Different alcoholic beverages exert different damaging effects in the stomach. However, this has not been systematically evaluated. Moreover, it is not known whether the non-alcoholic components of alcoholic beverages also play a role in the pathogenesis of gastric epithelial cell damage. Therefore, this study was designed to evaluate whether different alcoholic beverages, at a similar ethanol concentration, exerted different damaging effect in gastric epithelial cells in vitro. Moreover, we evaluated whether pre-treatment of gastric epithelial cells with alcoholic beverages prevented oxidative stress-induced damage to gastric cells. Cell damage was assessed, in MKN-28 gastric epithelial cells, by MTT assay. Oxidative stress was induced by incubating cells with xanthine and xanthine oxidase. Gastric cell viability was assessed following 30, 60, and 120 minutes incubation with ethanol 17.5-125 mg/ml(-1) or different alcoholic beverages (i.e., beer, white wine, red wine, spirits) at comparable ethanol concentration. Finally, we assessed whether pre-incubation with red wine (with or without ethanol) prevented oxidative stress-induced cell damage. Red wine caused less damage to gastric epithelial cells in vitro compared with other alcoholic beverages at comparable ethanol concentration. Pre-treatment with red wine, but not with dealcoholate red wine, significantly and time-dependently prevented oxidative stress-induced cell damage.


1) red wine is less harmful to gastric epithelial cells than other alcoholic beverages; 2) this seems related to the non-alcoholic components of red wine, because other alcoholic beverages with comparable ethanol concentration exerted more damage than red wine; 3) red wine prevents oxidative stress-induced cell damage and this seems to be related to its ethanol content.

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