Bebb, J.R.; Bailey-Flitter, N.F.; Ala'Aldeen, D.A.A.; Atherton, J.C.
April 2003
Gut;Apr2003 Supplement 1, Vol. 52, pA83
Academic Journal
Background: Mastic gum is a resinous exudate obtained from the stem and leaves of Pistacia lentiscus. It is widely used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries as a chewing gum and food additive. We have previously shown that it is bactericidal against H pylori in vitro and this has been independently confirmed. Since then mastic has been widely marketed both in the USA and Europe as a cure for H pylori infection and peptic ulcers. Methods and Patients: Nine H pylori positive patients were recruited from routine day case endoscopy lists. No patients had current or previous gastroduodenal ulceration or had taken antibiotics, bismuth compounds, or proton pump inhibitors for 6 weeks prior to the trial. A 13C urea breath test was performed prior to, on day 14 of and 5 weeks after treatment with mastic capsules 1 g four times a day. Results: Eight patients completed the trial protocol (one withdrew after 5 days due to nausea). All nine patients remained H pylori positive by UBT immediately after mastic treatment with unchanged UBT values (pre-treatment mean ± SEM 19.4 ± 3.2 per ml, post-treatment 18.5 ± 3.4 per ml). Eight patients attended for UBT 5 weeks after treatment finished, again with unchanged UBT values (18.2 ± 3.6 per mi). Other than the patient who withdrew, two patients reported mild adverse symptoms; one complained of fatigue and the second of constipation and bloating. Conclusion: This study shows that high dose mastic gum has no significant effect against H pylori in vivo.


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