The stomach ulcer of various origins is well prevented and healed by short peptides, which are part of gelatin. The conclusion has been made by the task group combining researchers from the Institute of Molecular Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Faculty of Biology of the Lomonosov Moscow State University and the Shemiakin and Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences.

Gelatin's short peptides - glyprolines - consist of amino acids of glycine and proline. It is them that protect the stomach mucous tunic from injuries. The highest anti-ulcer activity was discovered by the researchers with the PGP-sequence peptide: proline, glycine, proline. Glyprolines are easily absorbed in the stomach and remain in the blood for a long time without breaking up. They act not only on the stomach cells but also on the central nervous system overcoming the blood-brain barrier, therefore they cure even the ulcers caused by stress.

Glyprolines are natural peptides. They are generated in the organism in the course of collagen synthesis or decomposition. During the experiments carried out by the Moscow biologists, gelatin (partly hydrolyzed collagen) added to rats' feed partly protected the rats from ulcer. Further experiments were carried out by the researchers with gelatin hydrolysate. Processing gelatin by hydrochloric acid imitates the process taking place in the stomach. After gelatin hydrolysis was performed, the researchers educed and refined about 30 short peptides, also including glyprolines.

It has turned out that gelatin peptides reinforce resistance of the stomach mucous tunic to ethanol and stress action, decreasing the ulcer area by twice. If peptides are introduced to the animals with already developed ulcer, it will also close quicker. Therapeutic effect was revealed by peptides not only in case of intraperitoneal introduction but also in case of intragastric introduction, this method being even more effective.

The researchers point out that gelatin hydrolysate produces protective and medicinal effect comparable to the action of pure PGP peptide, which is currently known as the most active glyproline. In the researchers' opinion, not only the above-mentioned glyprolines but also short peptides unknown so far participate in the antiulcer action of gelatin peptides. Therefore, to produce the most promising protective and medicinal antiulcer drugs, the researchers are planning to investigate the action of all substances that make part of gelatin hydrolysate.