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Synbiotic (Probiotic and Ginger Extract) Loaded Floating Beads: A Novel Therapeutic Option in an Experimental Paradigm of Gastric Ulcer

Ginger is an herb. The rhizome (underground stem) is used as a spice and also as a medicine. It can be used fresh, dried and powdered, or as a juice or oil. Ginger is commonly used to treat various types of "stomach problems," including motion sickness, morning sickness, colic, upset stomach, gas, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting after surgery, as well as loss of appetite. Other uses include treating upper respiratory tract infections, cough, and bronchitis.

Singh PK, Kaur IP. Synbiotic (probiotic and ginger extract) loaded floating beads: a novel therapeutic option in an experimental paradigm of gastric ulcer. 1. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2012 Feb;64(2):207-17. doi: 10.1111/j.2042-7158.2011.01397.x. Epub 2011 Nov 28.

OBJECTIVE: This study investigated the use of a bioactive phytochemical, namely ginger extract (GE), for its antioxidant and antiulcer effects, and also for supporting probiotic growth and activity. Use of probiotics is limited in therapy because of their transience and inability to survive the adverse physiological conditions of the gastrointestinal tract. Packaging probiotics in a suitably designed pharmaceutical system with GE may facilitate their establishment in the stomach mucosa. METHODS: A probiotic (Lactobacillus acidophilus) and GE were simultaneously and individually encapsulated/immobilized in alginate floating beads. The developed system was evaluated for diameter, buoyancy, entrapment, porosity, in-vitro viability/release and pharmacodynamics in a cold restraint stress induced gastric ulcer model in rats. KEY FINDING: The developed floating beads stayed in the stomach for more than 10 h and both agents were released slowly and over a prolonged period from these beads. Significant and promising results were obtained for the combination (synbiotic) system in terms of ulcer index, mucus secretion, oxidative stress and histopathological parameters, as compared with the individual agents. The developed system could completely revert the damage induced in ulcerated stomachs at physiological (ulcer index and mucus secretion), biochemical (oxidative stress) and histological levels. CONCLUSION: This study establishes that suitable packaging of GE and Lactobacillus acidophilus together in floating beads can help exploit their prospects as therapeutic curative agents rather than potential preventive agents.