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Mastic: H. pylori and Ulcer Prevention

Mastic: H. pylori and Ulcer Prevention

Article by Don Goldberg

Inhibits growth of H. pylori and protects the stomach lining.

Introduction: Mastic gum is obtained from a shrub found scattered over the Mediterranean region in Spain, Portugal, France, Greece, Turkey, Northern Africa and the Canary Islands. It’s botanical name is Pistacia lentiscus. The part used is the resinous exudate from the stem.
In addition to being a traditional medicinal agent, mastic gum has traditionally been used in the perfume industry and as chewing gum in many cultures.
Reported Uses
Reported Uses: Mastic gum's main potential benefit involves support of the stomach lining. Studies suggest that mastic may inhibit the growth of H. pylori, a bacterial invader that lives in the mucous of the stomach lining and can lead to stomach ulcers and other complications.(2, 3) 
Additionally, studies suggest that mastic gum may be able to exert overall protective support for the stomach lining and may provide benefit for patients with stomach ulcers.(4) It may also protect the body from various fungi and other bacteria.(5) 
General Precaution: Be sure to tell your pharmacist, doctor or other health care providers about any dietary supplements you are taking. There may be a potential for interactions or side effects. taking. There may be a potential for interactions or side effects. 
Allergy: Some individuals experience an allergic reaction when taking this dietary supplement.(6) Discontinue use and call your doctor or seek medical attention if you have fast or irregular breathing, skin rash, hives or itching. 
Pregnancy/Breast-Feeding: To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects related to fetal development during pregnancy or to infants who are breast-fed. Yet little is known about the use of this dietary supplement while pregnant or breast-feeding. Therefore, it is recommended that you inform your healthcare practitioner of any dietary supplements you are using while pregnant or breast-feeding.
Age Limitations: To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects specifically related to the use of this dietary supplement in children. Since young children may have undiagnosed allergies or medical conditions, this dietary supplement should not be used in children under 10 years of age unless recommended by a physician.
1 American Herbal Products Association. Use of Marker Compounds in Manufacturing and Labeling Botanically Derived Dietary Supplements. Silver Spring, MD: American Herbal Products Association; 2001.
2 Huwez FU, et al. Mastic gum kills Helicobacter pylori. N Engl J Med. Dec1998;339(26):1946. 
3 Huwez FU, Al-Habbal MJ. Mastic in treatment of benign gastric ulcers. Gastroenterol Japon. 1986;21:273-74. 
4 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.
5 Iauk L, et al. In vitro antimicrobial activity of Pistacia lentiscus L. extracts: preliminary report. J Chemother. Jun1996;8(3):207-9.
6 Keynan N, et al. Allergenicity of the pollen of Pistacia. Allergy. Mar 1997;52(3):323-30.

The above material was excerpted from the Dietary Supplement Education Alliance website,, with permission.