Snail Slime and Potential Benefits Against Gastritis

Scientific studies on snail slime used to combat gastritis

Gastritis is an inflammation of the gastric mucosa that affects many people around the world and which can manifest itself with various symptoms, including cramps, pain, heartburn, nausea and difficulty digestion. It occurs in chronic or acute form and, in the most serious forms, causes lesions to the gastric mucosa called ulcers.

Recent studies have investigated the potential benefits of snail slime against gastritis, suggesting that this particular substance can help prevent the onset of ulcers and protect the mucosa from the aggression of gastric juices.

In this article we will examine how snail slime can be of support in treatments against gastritis and what were the results of the studies conducted in this regard.

Because snail slime has aroused the interest of the scientific community in the treatment of gastritis

Snail slime against gastric ulcers

Snail slime is an object of scientific interest for its hydrating, antibacterial, re-epithelizing, lubricating and protective properties, already used in the cosmetics industry to develop treatments for the skin of the face and body.

The mucus of snails, in particular those belonging to the Helix Aspersa Muller species, is rich in bioactive substances which make it a unique product and cannot be replicated in the laboratory.

Specifically, snail slime mainly contains :

  • Glycoproteins
  • Glycolic acid
  • Collagen
  • Elastin
  • Vitamins (including vitamin A, C and E)
  • Minerals

And, to a lesser extent, other active ingredients that work in synergy with the aforementioned substances.

The substances contained in it perform various functions on the human skin and mucous membranes: research has shown that snail slime is able to stimulate the formation of collagen and elastin, that it has antimicrobial properties and that it promotes skin repair in case of wounds and even burns.

What has aroused the interest of the scientific world in the treatment of gastritis and ulcers are the protective and re-epithelizing properties of snail slime.

Let's now look at the progress and results of the most recent studies conducted in this regard.

The first study on the action of snail slime against gastric ulcers (2021, Italy)

The Protective effect of snail secretion filtrate against ethanol-induced gastric ulcer in mice study, published in February 2021 and conducted at the University of Messina, examined for the first time the effects of snail secretion on an animal model of ulcer gastric induced with ethanol.

During the research, several batches of snail slime from the Helix Aspersa Muller species were used, extracted by hand from snails bred in Italy. The secretion was analyzed in the laboratory in order to:

  • Evaluate the quantity of proteins contained in it
  • Examine the contents of allantoin and glycolic acid
  • Determine the quality of the total protein content

The study examined the effects of snail slime on gastric ulcers caused by administering ethanol orally to mice, a method that reproduces lesions similar to those observed in gastritis.

The mice were then divided into groups and treated with snail slime at different doses and with omeprazole (one of the most used drugs for the treatment of gastritis and ulcers).

From the results it was noted that the snail slime had an important protective action on the gastric mucosa , reducing lesions and improving histological parameters.

The best results were found in mice that received a higher dosage of snail slime: this suggests that the response to snail slime therapy is dose-dependent.

The study therefore demonstrated that snail secretion has a protective effect against ethanol-induced gastric ulcer in mice, suggesting the potential use of this compound as a gastroprotective agent.

Source: Gugliandolo E, Cordaro M, Fusco R, Peritore AF, Siracusa R, Genovese T, D'Amico R, Impellizzeri D, Di Paola R, Cuzzocrea S, Crupi R. Protective effect of snail secretion filtrate against ethanol-induced gastric ulcer in mice. Sci Rep. 2021 Feb 11;11(1):3638. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-83170-8. PMID: 33574472; PMCID: PMC7878904.

Subsequently, further research was conducted with the aim of testing snail slime in the therapy against ulcers caused by gastritis. Let's see, below, one of the most important, conducted in Bulgaria in 2022.

Study on the effects of snail slime on ethanol-induced gastric ulcer (Bulgaria, 2022)

scientific studies on snail slime and gastritis

The Snail Mucus Protective Effect on Ethanol-Induced Gastric Ulcers in Mice study, published in July 2022 and conducted at the Institute of Neurobiology of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in Sofia, examines the effects of snail slime (extracted from the Helix Aspersa species) on an animal model of gastric ulcer caused by ethanol.

Preventive treatment of mice with snail slime taken orally appears to significantly reduce gastric lesions. The effects of snail slime are comparable to those of omeprazole (which, remember, is one of the most used drugs against gastritis).

Furthermore, during the study, snail slime inhibited the growth of the Helicobacter pylori bacterium, one of the main causes of gastric ulcers.

The researchers hypothesize that these beneficial effects are probably related to the antioxidant, re-epithelizing and antimicrobial action of Helix Aspersa mucus, and that further studies could confirm the usefulness of snail slime in the prevention of gastric ulcers.

Source: Petrov L, Kachaunov M, Alexandrova A, Tsvetanova E, Georgieva A, Dolashki A, Velkova L, Dolashka P. Snail Mucus Protective Effect on Ethanol-Induced Gastric Ulcers in Mice. Life (Basel). 2022 Jul 22;12(8):1106. doi: 10.3390/life12081106. PMID: 35892908; PMCID: PMC9330504.

In conclusion

Snail slime appears to be a promising resource in the treatment of gastritis and gastric ulcers, and we hope that the positive results found in studies in this regard will arouse even stronger interest in the scientific community.

The multiple properties of snail slime , from antioxidant activity to the ability to promote tissue regeneration and antimicrobial action against Helicobacter pylori, open new perspectives in the search for alternative therapies to drugs.

However, it is essential to underline the need for further studies to fully understand the mechanisms of action involved and confirm the effectiveness of snail slime against gastritis.

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