Mastic gum has no effect on Helicobacter pylori load in vivo

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2003 Sep;52(3):522-3. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkg366. Epub 2003 Jul 29.


Objective: To determine whether mastic gum suppresses or eradicates Helicobacter pylori infection in humans.

Patients and methods: Nine patients with H. pylori infection, and without gastroduodenal ulceration, were recruited from day-case endoscopy lists and treated with mastic 1 g four times daily for 14 days. [13C]Urea breath tests (UBTs) were carried out immediately before, on day 15 and 5 weeks after treatment with mastic.

Results: Mastic had no effect on H. pylori status in any of the eight completed patients; all remained H. pylori positive by UBT with no change in delta scores [pre-treatment mean +/- s.e.m. 19.1 +/- 3.7, day 15 (post-treatment) 18.7 +/- 3.8, P = 0.8, paired t-test].

Conclusion: Despite reported anti-H. pylori action in vitro, this preliminary study shows that mastic has no effect on H. pylori in humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breath Tests
  • Helicobacter Infections / diagnosis
  • Helicobacter Infections / drug therapy*
  • Helicobacter Infections / microbiology
  • Helicobacter pylori*
  • Humans
  • Mastic Resin
  • Resins, Plant / therapeutic use*
  • Urea / metabolism


  • Mastic Resin
  • Resins, Plant
  • Urea