Helicobacter pylori are gram-negative spiral bacterium colonizing the stomach. Helicobacter pylori infection is etiologically associated with gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, primary B-gastric and adenocarcinoma of the stomach. Helicobacter pylori can be eradicated but is very difficult, and at least two antibiotics and a suppressive acid are required to achieve its eradication, with very frequent antimicrobial resistance to be occurred.
Chios mastic is a natural resin of the Pistacia Lentiscus var Chia. The mastic is excreted in the form of tears and the exudates are a gummy, pure liquid that solidifies after 15-20 days and is classified according to its color.
There have been reports of the pharmaceutical action of mastic in gastrointestinal disorders since ancient years. Previous studies have shown some effect of mastic on healing of peptic ulcers in humans.
The objective of this controlled pilot study is to evaluate the efficacy of Chios mastic as a single treatment or in combination with the proton pump inhibition to eliminate Helicobacter pylori.
This randomized controlled clinical trial was conducted at the Gastroenterological Section of Chios General Hospital (Skylitzio). All participants had gastric endoscopy and were positive for the presence of helicobacter and the infection was identified by rapid urease test.
The 52 participants were then randomized and divided into the group receiving low dose of Chios mastic (350 mg three times a day for 14 days) in the group receiving high dose of Chios mastic (1g three times a day for 14 days), in the group receiving (350mg three times a day for 14 days) and pantoprazole and the other group received triple treatment with pantoprazole, amoxicillin and clarithromycin for 10 days. 5 weeks after the end of the treatment, eradication was tested with a second urease test.
The results showed that achieved eradication in percentages was: in group A 30.8%, group B3 38.5%, group C none, and in group D the 76.92% of patients. This indicates that Chios Mastic has some effect on Helicobacter pylori. It also appeared that the combination of mastic and pantoprazole treatment was ineffective in eradicating helicobacter.
The components, which may contribute to the treatment of mastic, belong to the group of mono and terpenoids (essential fatty acids) and triterpenoids (masticadienonic acid). Previous in vitro studies have shown that crude mastic has antibacterial properties against Helicobacter pylori, while in another study showed that the acidic fraction of mastic containing triterpenic acid, which constitutes about 50% of the total gravity of the reactive activity against Helicobacter. In particular, moronic acid appears to be a potent antibiotic not only against Helicobacter but also in other bacteria.
In conclusion, this pilot study published in Phytomedicine Journal, confirmed the potential antibacterial effect of Chios Mastic against Helicobacter pylori in vivo and its ability to eradicate it from patients.
Dabos KJ, Sfika E, Vlatta LJ, Giannikopoulos G. The effect of mastic gum on Helicobacter pylori: a randomised pilot study. Phytomedicine 2010;17:296-299.
: L-Glutamine & Chios Mastiha