Chios Mastic Gum
ND Randy Scheler, CNC
Reprinted with permission
Chios mastic gum,
a resin produced by the Pistacia lentiscus tree (an evergreen shrub from
the pistachio tree family), has been used for a variety of gastric
ailments in Mediterranean and Mideast countries for at least 3,000
years. In ancient times, mastic gum was highly revered for its medicinal
properties in the relief of dyspepsia and other intestinal disorders.
The benefits of this naturally occurring resin are now being
rediscovered for their antimicrobial effects.
show benefits of mastic gum
Several studies have already been published on mastic gum
with regard to its positive effects on the gastrointestinal environment,
thus gaining respect among the scientific and medical community. Perhaps
the most exciting breakthrough to date is that of a recent study showing
mastic gum's effectiveness against at least seven different strains of
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori).
In other studies,
mastic gum provided symptomatic relief of ulcers, reduced the intensity
of gastric mucosal damage caused by anti-ulcer drugs and aspirin, and
possessed antacid and cytoprotective qualities. In several studies using
mastic gum on patients with ulcers, the original site of the ulcer was
completely replaced by healthy epithelial cells.
although not entirely conclusive, do indicate a strong potential role
for the Chios mastic gum in maintaining a healthy gastrointestinal
system, as well as s strong rationale for further studies.
gum active against H. pylori.
As stated above, mastic gum has been to be active against Heliobacter
pylori, the spiral-shaped bacteria which live in the mucosal layer of
the stomach. In vitro studies are showing mastic gum's effectiveness
against seven strain of Heliobacter pylori. The mechanism is such that
the mastic gum causes structural changes within the H. pylori bacteria
cell structure, causing the bacteria to weaken and die.
caused by H. pylori
Until recently, it was generally thought that ulcers were caused by
stress, spicy foods and/or excess stomach acid. While this may be
somewhat true, a high incidence of H. pylori infection has been
correlated with gastric ulceration. Thus, new conventional treatment
strategy for such disease has turned from anti-acid to anti-biotic
therapy. It has been found that upwards of 90% of those with duodenal
ulcers, 70% with gastric ulcers, and 50% over the age of 50 test
positive for the presence of H. pylori. However, many of those who test
positive remain symptom free. An evaluation of the presence of the
bacteria can be evaluated using blood, saliva, stool or a breath test.
H. pylori is one
of the most common chronic bacterial infections in humans and affects
most populations throughout the world. However, the route by which
individuals become infected remains speculative. Because houseflies
frequently come into contact with human food and fecal material, it is
very possible that they act as viable sources for the spread of H.
The formation of
ulcers occurs when the lining of the stomach and small intestines are
thinned or damaged. The intestinal lining has a protective coating of
mucosa, which protects the stomach and duodenum from becoming damaged by
gastric acid. Unlike the H. pylori bacteria, most pathogenic
microorganisms cannot survive the acidic environment of the stomach.
However, the bacterium H. pylori first neutralizes the gastric pH in the
immediate area, then "drills" into the unprotected mucosal
lining, causing gastritis, which in turn can lead to the formation of
reference to The
New England Journal of Medicine -- December 24, 1998 -- Vol. 339, No. 26