Author: Felicity Bean
Recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) is an oral mucosal disorder - defined by recurrent, painful mouth ulcers - which affects 5-25% of the population.1
The precise aetiology is unclear, however it is presumed to vary from immunologic and microbial to local and systemic factors. Stress is thought to play a role.
All these factors lead to free radical formation, disrupting the oxidant:antioxidant balance of the body and cellular damage. Imbalance of oxidants can cause a range of oral inflammatory disorders, infections and immunologic diseases.
Enzymatic antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) protect against oxidative stress, as do non-enzymatic antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E, melatonin and selenium.
A recent study aimed to evaluate the enzymatic antioxidant levels in 30 patients aged 15-35 years with RAS. Serum levels of SOD and GSH-Px were measured in 30 patients with RAS and 30 healthy controls.1
Results showed the mean levels of SOD and GSH-Px were found to be significantly reduced in the study group compared to the controls.
Authors of this study concluded that the enzymatic antioxidant system is impaired in RAS patients and seems to play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of the disorder. They noted the results emphasised that oxidant:antioxidant imbalance plays a crucial role in the inflammatory reactions observed in recurrent RAS.
Patients with RAS may benefit from supplementing with antioxidants, as this may strengthen the blood antioxidant defence and provide beneficial therapeutic effectiveness for mouth ulcers.
Taken orally, Setria® glutathione has been shown to increase blood levels of glutathione.2
1. Gupta I, Shetti A, Keluskar V, et al. Assessment of serum enzymatic antioxidant levels in patients with recurrent aphthous stomatitis: a case control
study. Enzymes Res 2014;2014:340819.
2. Richie JP, Nichenametla S, Neidig W, et al. Randomized controlled trial of oral glutathione supplementation on body stores of glutathione. Eur J
Nutr 2014:DOI 10.1007/s00394-014-0706-z