December 16, 2008
Mastic Gum: a traditional remedy for gastric reflux disease becomes the subject of new lines of research suggesting its potential application to prostate cancer, Crohn’s Disease, and cardio- and hepato-protection
Mastic Gum is a resin that has been traditionally used (especially in the Eastern Mediterranean) as a remedy for gastric reflux disease and to protect the stomach and duodenum.
These traditional uses are now supported and enlarged by some clinical and other research data. Here are some of the most intriguing new findings concerning Mastic Gum:
1. A study published in 2007 underscored the potential of mastic gum to prevent or manage prostate cancer. According to this line of research, this protective effect may be achieved via an inhibition of nF-KB–interestingly, that’s a cellular protein that HIV also hijacks to help produce more of itself.
2. Another recent investigation looked at the use of 2.22 grams of mastic per day among patients with Crohn’s disease. Not only did this dosage help in this small pilot study, but two markers of inflammation were significantly reduced, including interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP). Again, it’s interesting to note that both of these markers are also often elevated in HIV disease.
3. Last, a 2007 Greek study showed some benefits for mastic gum in managing the lipid profile and being liver and heart protective. These findings tend to support the long-held traditional reputation of mastic.
He, et al. Mechanisms of antiprostate cancer by gum mastic: NF-κB signal as target. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2007 Mar;28(3):446-452.
Kaliora AC, Stathopoulou MG, Triantafillidis JK, Dedoussis GV, Andrikopoulos NK. Chios mastic treatment of patients with active Crohn’s disease. World J Gastroenterol. 2007 Feb 7;13(5):748-53.
Triantafyllou A, Chaviaras N, Sergentanis TN, Protopapa E, Tsaknis J. Chios mastic gum modulates serum biochemical parameters in a human population. J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Apr 20;111(1):43-49.
For more commentary, see the NYBC entry: