Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia ficus indica var. saboten) Protects Against Stress-Induced Acute Gastric Lesions in Rats

Seung Hyun Kim, Byung Ju Jeon, Dae Hyun Kim, Tae Il Kim, Hee Kyoung Lee, Dae Seob Han, Jong Hwan Lee, Tae Bum Kim, Jung Wha Kim, Sang Hyun Sung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


The protective activity of prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ficus indica var. saboten) fruit juice and its main constituent, betanin, were evaluated against stress-induced acute gastric lesions in rats. After 6h of water immersion restraint stress (WIRS), gastric mucosal lesions with bleeding were induced in Sprague-Dawley rats. Pretreatment of a lyophilized powder containing O. ficus indica var. saboten fruit juice and maltodextrin (OFSM) and betanin significantly reduced stress lesions (800-1600mg/kg). Both OFSM and betanin effectively prevented the decrease in gastric mucus content as detected by alcian blue staining. In addition, OFSM significantly suppressed WIRS-induced increases in the level of gastric mucosal tumor necrosis factor-α and myeloperoxidase (MPO). Betanin alone was only effective in decreasing MPO. These results revealed the protective activity of OFSM against stress-induced acute gastric lesions and that betanin may contribute to OFSM's gastric protective activity, at least in part. When OFSM and betanin were taken together, OFSM exerted gastroprotective activity against stress-induced gastric lesions by maintaining gastric mucus, which might be related to the attenuation of MPO-mediated damage and proinflammatory cytokine production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)968-973
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of medicinal food
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Nov 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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