Effects of Chios mastic gum on cholesterol and glucose levels of healthy volunteers: A prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, pilot study (CHIOS-MASTIHA)

Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2016 May;23(7):722-9. doi: 10.1177/2047487315603186. Epub 2015 Aug 26.


Background: Chios mastic gum (CMG) possesses anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-atheromatic, lipid- and glucose-lowering properties. We evaluated the effects of CMG on cholesterol and fasting plasma glucose (FPG) levels of healthy volunteers.

Design: A prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, pilot study.

Methods: One hundred and seventy nine volunteers with total cholesterol levels >200 mg/dl were randomized to four groups. Finally, 156 volunteers completed the follow-up period and were analysed: (1) control group (C, n = 23), receiving placebo; (2) total mastic (TM, n = 72) receiving daily a total dose of 1 g of crude CMG (330 mg capsules, tid); (3) polymer-free mastic (PFM, n = 33), receiving daily a total dose of 1 g of polymer free mastic (330 mg caps, tid); and (4) powder mastic (PM, n = 28), receiving daily a total dose of 2 g of crude CMG.

Results: After eight weeks, the TM group reduced total cholesterol by 11.5 mg/dl (p < 0.05) and FPG by 4.5 mg/dl (p < 0.05) adjusted for age, gender, BMI and baseline characteristics. The effect was stronger in overweight and obese patients (BMI > 25), with an estimated mean reduction of total cholesterol by 13.5 mg/dl (p < 0.05) and FPG by 5.1 mg/dl (p < 0.05). Administration of PFM and PM resulted in no statistically significant alteration. No effect was observed on LDL, HDL, triglycerides, uric acid and CRP. No gastrointestinal, liver or renal adverse events were recorded.

Conclusions: CMG has a significant lowering effect on total cholesterol and glucose levels of healthy volunteers, with excellent tolerance and no detectable side effects, especially in overweight and obese individuals.

Keywords: Mastic gum; atherosclerosis; cardiovascular; diabetes; lipids; terpenes.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Atherosclerosis / blood
  • Atherosclerosis / etiology
  • Atherosclerosis / prevention & control*
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Dyslipidemias / blood*
  • Dyslipidemias / complications
  • Dyslipidemias / drug therapy
  • Fasting / blood
  • Female
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Mastic Resin / administration & dosage*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Blood Glucose
  • Lipids
  • Mastic Resin