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.

References:

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:

Mastic Gum

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The Lowdown on Lipodystrophy – Nelson Vergel on “HIV Lipodystrophy: Where Are We After 10 Years?”

We’d like to recommend this article, by long-time AIDS treatment activist Nelson Vergel, which appears in the July-Dec. 2007 issue of GMHC’s Treatment News

It’s available online at

http://www.gmhc.org/health/treatment/ti/ti21_3_4.html#3

Lipodystrophy has been one of the most discussed side effects of HIV medications in the past ten years, and, as this article points out, its potentially devastating psychological effects have added urgency to the search for scientific understanding about the condition, and treatment options to address it.

This excellent summary divides the discussion into three parts:

–lipoatrophy (fat loss in the face, buttocks, arms and legs)

–lipohypertrophy (fat accumulation in specific areas of the body such as the neck, belly, upper torso, and breasts)

–lipid abnormalities (high LDL [“bad”] cholesterol and triglycerides, low HDL [“good”] cholesterol)

Nelson outlines how Zerit and AZT were especially implicated in lipoatrophy; he also sorts through the ongoing uncertainties about the origins of lipohypertrophy and lipid abnormalities in people with HIV on HAART.

This article is also very useful in reviewing the treatment options for these three conditions, including facial wasting reconstruction therapies like Sculptra (formerly Newfill) for lipoatrophy; prescription drugs for lipohypertrophy (testosterone or Metformin*); nutritional supplements like fish oil and Niacin for lipid abnormalities (these are often most successful when used along with diet and exercise programs, and can enhance the effectiveness of prescription statins).

Nelson Vergel continues to do a great service in making this kind of treatment information available to PWHIV. For more info, you can also visit the website http://www.facialwasting.org, or subscribe to the pozhealth internet HIV health discussion group by sending a blank email to pozhealth-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

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*See additional posts on this Blog for a recommendation about supplementing with B vitamins when taking Metformin.

“HIV Lipodystrophy: Where are we after ten years?” – Nelson Vergel, in GMHC Treatment News, July-Dec. 2007

We’d like to recommend this article, by long-time AIDS treatment activist Nelson Vergel, which appears in the July-Dec. 2007 issue of GMHC’s Treatment News

It’s available online at

http://www.gmhc.org/health/treatment/ti/ti21_3_4.html#3

Lipodystrophy has been one of the most discussed side effects of HIV medications in the past ten years, and, as this article points out, its potentially devastating psychological effects have added urgency to the search for scientific understanding about the condition, and treatment options to address it.

This excellent summary divides the discussion into three parts:

–lipoatrophy (fat loss in the face, buttocks, arms and legs)

–lipohypertrophy (fat accumulation in specific areas of the body such as the neck, belly, upper torso, and breasts)

–lipid abnormalities (high LDL [“bad”] cholesterol and triglycerides, low HDL [“good”] cholesterol)

Nelson outlines how Zerit and AZT were especially implicated in lipoatrophy; he also sorts through the ongoing uncertainties about the origins of lipohypertrophy and lipid abnormalities in people with HIV on HAART.

This article is also very useful in reviewing the treatment options for these three conditions, including facial wasting reconstruction therapies like Sculptra (formerly Newfill) for lipoatrophy; prescription drugs for lipohypertrophy (testosterone or Metformin*); nutritional supplements like fish oil and Niacin for lipid abnormalities (these are often most successful when used along with diet and exercise programs, and can enhance the effectiveness of prescription statins).

Nelson Vergel continues to do a great service in making this kind of treatment information available to PWHIV. For more info, you can also visit the website http://www.facialwasting.org, or subscribe to the pozhealth internet HIV health discussion group by sending a blank email to pozhealth-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

—–
*See the recent post on this Blog for a recommendation about supplementing with B vitamins when taking Metformin.