Anti-gastric ulcer activity by barley grass

Studies on the constituents of green juice from young barley leaves. Antiulcer activity of fractions from barley juice.

Ohtake, H., Yuasa, H., Komura, C. Miyauchi, T., Hagiwara, Y., Kubota, K. 1985. J. Pharm. Soc. Japan. 105:1046-51.

Background:  Ulcers can be caused by stress, high acid levels and by some drugs, including aspirin. Barley juice, the extract of young barley leaves, has been shown to lower serum cholesterol in lab rats by this same group.  In this article, the researchers found that barley juice also has anti-ulcer activity.

Laboratory Studies:
  These researchers used rats as a model to study stomach and other digestive ulcers.  They used three different methods to cause ulcers in these rats—stress, high acid levels in the stomach and aspirin-induced ulcers.  The researchers separated the barley juice into various fractions based on their chemical characteristics and studied the effect of different fractions on ulcer formation.

Barley juice, extracted from young barley leaves protected the rats against ulcers—and it protected against ulcers induced by ALL these causes—by stress, high acid levels and by the use of aspirin. The most effective fractions were the water-soluble protein fraction and another water-soluble fraction containing unidentified organic substances (in this context, organic means that the substances contained C-C bonds).   Another fraction (a water insoluble one) also protected against stress- and acid-induced ulcers, but not against aspirin-induced ulcers.  The researchers suggested that these substances were effective as anti-ulcer agents because they protected the inner surface of the stomach—where ulcers form—from damage.