Ulcer and non-ulcer diseases of the digestive tract (dyspepsia) affect millions of people worldwide. One of the primary causes is the infection with Helicobacter pylori bacteria, which is present in nearly 75% of these diseases. Another major cause is the use of non-steroidal anti-rheumatics (NSAIDs), including aspirin. These medicines inhibit the activity of cyclooxygenase (COX), the enzyme responsible for maintaining the integrity of the mucous membranes in the upper parts of digestive tract and support blood flow to the stomach. Despite the use of more modern NSAIDs, which mainly act on the second form of cyclooxygenase (inhibitors COX-2), which precipitate mainly in the cartilage of the joints, are also dangerous, though less, for the digestive tract.
Historically, in 1936, carnosine has been used for the treatment and prevention of ulcers of the stomach. Recent studies have shown that carnosine substantially prevents the formation of erosion and ulcers in the stomach and duodenum. Carnosine contributes to ulcer healing through a number of different mechanisms, including inhibition of Helicobacter pylori, promotion of wound healing, down-regulation of inflammatory cytokines, antioxidant effects, and stimulation of gastric mucus secretion. It can be used as a natural mono therapy, an alternative to conventional pharmaceuticals such as proton pump inhibitors, H2 receptor antagonists or antibiotics. It can also be used as additional therapy in combination with conventional ulcer drugs. Moreover, patients can safely take Karnozin Extra with NSAIDs, as a way of preempting the adverse gastric effects of these drugs.