Mastic Gum health benefits (Pistacia lentiscus tree)
Mastic is a small tree cultivated on the Greek island of Chios but also available throughout the Middle East. A resin produced by the Mastic tree has been used for gastrointestinal conditions in Mediterranean countries.
Mastic can reduce bacterial plaque in the mouth and mastic oil has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Other benefits of mastic include healing peptic ulcers, Helicobacter Pylori treatment, and possibly crohn's disease. Mastic has been shown to reduce bacteria in the mouth that account for dental caries.
Mastic, cholesterol and blood lipids
Chios mastic gum modulates serum biochemical parameters in a human population.
J Ethnopharmacol. 200; Triantafyllou A, Chaviaras N, Sergentanis TN, Protopapa E, Tsaknis J. Department of Biochemistry, Medical School, National University of Athens, 75, Mikras Assias str., Athens, Greece.
Chios mastic (Pistacia lentiscus var. chia) possesses beneficial (antimicrobial, antioxidant, hepatoprotective) properties. This study aims to assess its effects on cardiologic and hepatic biochemical indices of human subjects. Materials and methods: Subjects (n=133, aged over 50) were randomly assigned to two groups, the first (high-dose group) ingesting daily 5g of mastic powder and the second receiving daily a Chios mastic solution (low-dose group). Serum biochemical parameters were determined on a monthly basis for an 18-month (high-dose group) and a 12-month (low-dose group) follow-up period. The group ingesting Chios mastic powder (high-dose group) exhibited a decrease in serum total cholesterol, LDL, total cholesterol/HDL ratio, lipoprotein (a), apolipoprotein A-1, apolipoprotein B (apoB/apoA-1 ratio did not change), SGOT, SGPT and gamma-GT levels; in the second (low-dose) group, glucose levels decreased in males. Discussion: Chios mastic powder could have a hepatoprotective and cardioprotective role in vivo in humans.
Mastic for Crohn's disease
Chios mastic treatment of patients with active Crohn's disease.
World J Gastroenterol. 2007. Kaliora AC, Stathopoulou MG, Triantafillidis JK, Dedoussis GV, Andrikopoulos NK. Department of Science of Dietetics-Nutrition, Harokopio University of Athens, 70 El. Venizelou ave., Kallithea 17671, Athens, Greece.
To evaluate the effectiveness of mastic administration on the clinical course and plasma inflammatory mediators of patients with active Crohn's disease. This pilot study was conducted in patients with established mild to moderately active Crohn's disease, attending the outpatient clinics of the hospital, and in healthy controls. Ten patients and 8 controls were recruited for a 4-wk treatment with mastic caps (6 caps/d, 0.37 g/cap). All patients successfully completed the protocol. CD Activity Index (CDAI), Nutritional Risk Index (NRI), C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), and total antioxidant potential (TAP) were evaluated in the plasma at baseline and at the end of the treatment period. Patients exhibited significant reduction of CDAI as compared to pretreament values. Plasma IL-6 was significantly decreased, and so did CRP. TAP was significantly increased. No patient or control exhibited any kind of side effects. The results suggest that mastic significantly decreased the activity index and the plasma levels of IL-6 and CRP in patients with mildly to moderately active Crohn's disease. Further double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in a larger number of patients are required to clarify the role of this natural product in the treatment of patients with Crohn's disease.
Mastic for H. Pylori
In vitro and in vivo activities of Chios mastic gum extracts and constituents against Helicobacter pylori.
Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2007. Laboratory of Pharmacognosy and Natural Products Chemistry, Department of Pharmacy, University of Athens, Greece.
The extracts and pure major constituents of Chios mastic gum (resin of Pistacia lentiscus var. chia) were tested for their activities against Helicobacter pylori. A total mastic extract without polymer was prepared after removal of the contained insoluble polymer in order to ameliorate solubility and enhance in vivo activity. Administration of this mastic extract to H. pylori SS1-infected mice over the period of 3 months with an average dose of 0.75 mg/day led to an approximately 30-fold reduction in the H. pylori colonization. However, no attenuation in the H. pylori-associated chronic inflammatory infiltration and the activity of chronic gastritis was observed. To further characterize potential active mastic constituents, the mastic extract was separated into an acidic and a neutral fraction. Both were extensively characterized by nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectroscopy to elucidate the structure of the components contained within each fraction. After chromatographic separation, the acid fraction gave the major triterpenic acids, while the neutral fraction gave several triterpenic alcohols and aldehydes. Mastic extracts and isolated pure triterpenic acids were tested for in vitro activity against a panel of 11 H. pylori clinical strains. The acid fraction was found to be the most active extract, and the most active pure compound was isomasticadienolic acid. Our results show that administration of mastic extract may be effective in reducing H. pylori colonization and that the major triterpenic acids in the acid extract may be responsible for such an activity.
Mastic for tooth cavities
In vitro and in vivo antimicrobial effects of mastic chewing gum against Streptococcus mutans and mutans streptococci.
Arch Oral Biol. 20065. Suleyman Demirel Univesity, Faculty of Dentistry, Department of Orthodontics, Isparta, Turkey.
Dental caries is associated with oral pathogens and Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) is one of the primary cariogenic organisms. Mastic gum, from Pistacia lentiscus, has been shown to have antibacterial properties. The objective of this study was to determine antibacterial activity of mastic chewing gum against S. mutans and mutans streptococci in vitro and in vivo conditions. Clinical studies were performed on 25 periodontally healthy volunteers. The inhibitory effect of chewing mastic gum against mutans streptococci in saliva was compared to a placebo gum.
CONCLUSIONS: This preliminary study showed that mastic gum had significant antibacterial activity against S. mutans and mutans streptococci and it may be a useful adjunct in the prevention of caries.
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