Articles

Mastic

Plant Part Used

Resinous exudate from stem

Active Constituents

Resin; triterpenes; volatile oils; arabinogalactan(1),(2),(10)

[span class=alert]This section is a list of chemical entities identified in this dietary supplement to possess pharmacological activity. This list does not imply that other, yet unidentified, constituents do not influence the pharmacological activity of this dietary supplement nor does it imply that any one constituent possesses greater influence on the overall pharmacological effect of this dietary supplement.[/span]

Introduction

Mastic gum is obtained from a multi-branched shrub rarely growing higher than 12 feet, found scattered over the Mediterranean region in Spain, Portugal, France, Greece, Turkey, Northern Africa, and the Canary Islands. This gum has traditionally been used in the perfume industry, as chewing gum in many cultures, along with being a traditional medicinal agent.(3)

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

500mg, 2-4 times a day for one month.

Most Common Dosage

500mg, 2 times a day for one month.

Standardization

[span class=doc]Standardization represents the complete body of information and controls that serve to enhance the batch to batch consistency of a botanical product, including but not limited to the presence of a marker compound at a defined level or within a defined range.[/span]

Not applicable.

Uses

Frequently Reported Uses

  • Inhibits H. pylori
  • Gastrointestinal ulcers

Other Reported Uses

  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Anticancer
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases

Toxicities & Precautions

General

Mastic is safe in recommended dosages.

Allergy

If allergy develops, discontinue use.

Pregnancy/ Breast Feeding

Use in pregnancy has not yet been determined.

Pharmacology

H. pylori Infection

Mastic gum has been reported to inhibit H. pylori, a bacterial invader that lives in the mucous of the stomach lining, which can lead to stomach ulcers and other complications.(4) In a human clinical study, 5 male subjects and 1 female subject were treated with mastic extract in powder form at a dose of 1 g, twice daily. At the end of seven days of treatment, all six patients experienced complete relief. After 4 weeks of treatment, endoscopic healing was found in 5 patients. No side effects or abnormalities were reported.(5) A randomized pilot study in 52 patients suffering from H. pylori infection found that mastic gum (350mg tid x 14d or 1.5gm tid x 14d) eradicated the infection in approximately 38% of the patients vs. 77% using pharmacotherapy.(11)

Mastic gum is thought to exerted a mild antisecretory and cytoprotective effect on gastric and duodenal mucosa, protecting the body from ulceration.(6) A double-blind clinical trial was carried out on 38 patients with symptomatic and endoscopically proven duodenal ulcer to compare the therapeutic responses to mastic gum (1 gm daily, 20 patients) and placebo (lactose, 1 gm daily, 18 patients) given orally over a period of two weeks.(7) Symptomatic relief was obtained in sixteen (80 percent) patients on mastic and in nine (50 percent) patients on placebo, while endoscopically proven healing occurred in fourteen (70 percent) patients on mastic gum and four (22 percent) patients on placebo. Mastic has also been reported to inhibit neutrophil activation in the presence of H. pylori neutrophil activating protein.(12)

Other Uses

Mastic gum has been reported to have in vitro antifungal activity.(8) Mastic gum has also been reported to have antibacterial activity, being active in vitro against E. coli and S. aureus.(9)  The antibacterial activity of mastic gum has been reported effective in reducing dental caries in a small human study.(13) A laboratory study found mastic gum effective against Porphyromonas gingivalis, a pathogen linked to gingivitis.(14)

Laboratory studies also report anti-cancer activity against various human tumor cell lines.(15),(16),(17) Mastic gum was found in an in vitro study to enhance maspin promoter activity by suppressing ARE binding activity and enhancing Sp1 binding activity in prostate cancer cell lines.(18) Gum mastic has also been reported to inhibit the proliferation and cell cycle progression in prostate cancer cells by suppressing NF-kappaB activity and the NF-kappaB signal pathway.(19)

Mastic gum has also been reported to have anti-inflammatory effects in laboratory studies, including inhibition of the production of both nitric oxide (NO) and PGE2 by activated macrophages mostly via a cytotoxic action.(20)  The anti-inflammatory activity of mastic gum was also reported in a small human trial to significantly decrease the activity index and the plasma levels of inflammatory markers IL-6 and CRP in patients with mildly to moderately active Crohn’s disease.(21)

References

  1. Papageorgiou VP, Bakola-Christianopoulou MN, Apazidou KK, et al. Gas chromatographic-mass spectroscopic analysis of the acidic triterpenic fraction of mastic gum. J Chromatogr. 1997;769:263-73.
  2. View Abstract: Magiatis P, et al. Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of the essential oils of Pistacia lentiscus var. chia. Planta Med. Dec1999;65(8):749-52.
  3. LaValle JB, et al. Natural Therapeutics Pocket Guide. Hudson, OH: LexiComp, Inc; 2000:477-478.
  4. Huwez FU, et al. Mastic gum kills Helicobacter pylori. N Engl J Med. Dec1998;339(26):1946.
  5. Huwez FU, Al-Habbal MJ. Mastic in treatment of benign gastric ulcers. Gastroenterol Japon. 1986;21:273–74.
  6. View Abstract: Al-Said MS, Ageel AM, Parmar NS, et al. Evaluation of mastic, a crude drug obtained from Pistacia lentiscus for gastric and duodenal anti-ulcer activity. J Ethnopharmacol. 1986;15:271–78.
  7. View Abstract: Al-Habbal MJ, Al-Habbal Z, Huwez FU. A double-blind controlled clinical trial of mastic and placebo in the treatment of duodenal ulcer. J Clin Exp Pharm Physiol. 1984;11:541-4.
  8. View Abstract: Ali-Shtaveh MS, et al. Antifungal activity of plant extracts against dermatophytes. Mycoses. 1999;42(11-12):665-72.
  9. View Abstract: Iauk L, et al. In vitro antimicrobial activity of Pistacia lentiscus L. extracts: preliminary report. J Chemother. Jun1996;8(3):207-9.
  10. Kottakis F, Lamari F, Matragkou Ch, Zachariadis G, Karamanos N, Choli-Papadopoulou T. Arabino-galactan proteins from Pistacia lentiscus var. chia: isolation, characterization and biological function. Amino Acids. Apr 2008;34(3):413-420. Epub 2007 May 21.
  11. Dabos KJ, Sfika E, Vlatta LJ, Giannikopoulos G. The effect of mastic gum on Helicobacter pylori: a randomized pilot study. Phytomedicine. Mar 2010;17(3-4):296-299. Epub 2009 Oct 29.
  12. Kottakis F, Kouzi-Koliakou K, Pendas S, Kountouras J, Choli-Papadopoulou T. Effects of mastic gum Pistacia lentiscus var. chia on innate cellular immune effectors. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. Feb 2009;21(2):143-149.
  13. Aksoy A, Duran N, Toroglu S, Koksal F. Short-term effect of mastic gum on salivary concentrations of cariogenic bacteria in orthodontic patients. Angle Orthod. Jan 2007;77(1):124-128.
  14. Sterer N. Antimicrobial effect of mastic gum methanolic extract against Porphyromonas gingivalis. J Med Food. Summer 2006;9(2):290-292.
  15. Dimas K, Hatziantoniou S, Wyche JH, Pantazis P. A mastic gum extract induces suppression of growth of human colorectal tumor xenografts in immunodeficient mice. In Vivo. Jan-Feb 2009;23(1):63-68.
  16. Balan KV, Prince J, Han Z, et al. Antiproliferative activity and induction of apoptosis in human colon cancer cells treated in vitro with constituents of a product derived from Pistacia lentiscus L. var. chia. Phytomedicine. Apr 2007;14(4):263-272. Epub 2006 May 18.
  17. Loutrari H, Magkouta S, Pyriochou A, et al. Mastic oil from Pistacia lentiscus var. chia inhibits growth and survival of human K562 leukemia cells and attenuates angiogenesis. Nutr Cancer. 2006;55(1):86-93.
  18. He ML, Chen WW, Zhang PJ, et al. Gum mastic increases maspin expression in prostate cancer cells. Acta Pharmacol Sin. Apr 2007;28(4):567-572.
  19. He ML, Li A, Xu CS, et al. Mechanisms of antiprostate cancer by gum mastic: NF-kappaB signal as target. Acta Pharmacol Sin. Mar 2007;28(3):446-452.
  20. Zhou L, Satoh K, Takahashi K, et al. Re-evaluation of anti-inflammatory activity of mastic using activated macrophages. In Vivo. Jul-Aug 2009;23(4):583-589.
  21. Kaliora AC, Stathopoulou MG, Triantafillidis JK, Dedoussis GV, Andrikopoulos NK. Chios mastic treatment of patients with active Crohn's disease. World J Gastroenterol. 7 Feb 2007;13(5):748-753.