Home Conferences Contact Us Continuing Education Jobs Weekly News Archives Readership Profile

Monthly News Archives Pharmacy Awards Search Site Search Magazine Archives Submit a Classified Advertisement



18 January 2002 News Update


An ancient Chinese medicine extracted from pine trees may protect against digestive disorders such as ulcers, heartburn and acid reflux, according to scientists.

Dr Jeff Pearson and a team at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in north-east England found that ecabet sodium, a white powder derived from pine resin, had a range of benefits.

In laboratory experiments on gastric juices taken from patients, the powder reduced pepsin activity - a known cause of ulcers - by up to 78 per cent. It also caused the mucus lining the stomach to thicken, providing extra protection against corrosive gastric juices.

As well as that, ecabet sodium was found to be a natural antiseptic, reducing the survival time of ulcer-causing bacteria in the stomach. The powder also had a significant effect on acid reflux, also known as reflux oesophagitis.

This occurs when gastric juices leave the stomach and travel up the gullet, attacking its sensitive lining. While most people experience the problem occasionally, there are many acute sufferers who need drugs to control the disorder.

Reflux oesophagitis, which causes heartburn and is thought to increase the risk of oesophagus cancer, is common among people with peptic ulcers or those who have a high level of pepsin activity. It may also be caused by a malfunction of the valve between the stomach and gullet.

Dr Pearson said: "Ecabet sodium may be very useful for long-term treatment of reflux oesophagitis in patients whose condition has been stabilised by conventional drugs. Doctors often prescribe drugs which stop acid production by the stomach to control reflux oesophagitis.

But some medical experts are worried there may be side-effects on patients who take the drug daily for many years.''

Back to welcome page

Back to news archives


Complete this month's questionnaire to qualify for extra Continuing Education credits. Click here
For the answers to last month's quiz click here.


Click here to find out who the winners are for the Pharmacy Today/Zuellig Pharma Pharmacy Awards 2002. Also view and purchase photos of the Awards.


For the leading stories in our latest issue of Pharmacy Today magazine visit our welcome page.


To subscribe to Pharmacy Today, or to purchase The Beauty Manual or The Pharmacy Healthcare Handbook click here.

Job vacancies, items for sale, business opportunities and more.
Updated weekly.
click here.

Consumer Health Information

New Zealand Doctor Online