Regulation of faecal biomarkers in inflammatory bowel disease patients treated with oral mastiha (Pistacia lentiscus) supplement: A double-blind and placebo-controlled randomised trial

Phytother Res. 2019 Feb;33(2):360-369. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6229. Epub 2018 Nov 18.


There is a keen research upon the effects of nutraceuticals on inflammatory bowel disease. The purpose of this study was to explore the effect of mastiha supplement, rich in bioactive nutraceuticals, in active inflammatory bowel disease. This is a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Α total of 60 inflammatory bowel disease patients were enrolled and randomly allocated to mastiha (2.8 g/day) or placebo groups for 3 months adjunct to stable medical treatment. Medical and dietary history, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire (IBDQ), Harvey-Bradshaw index, partial Mayo score, biochemical indices, faecal, and blood inflammatory markers were assessed. A clinically important difference between groups in IBDQ was defined as primary outcome. Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire score significantly improved in verum compared with baseline (p = 0.004). There was a significant decrease in faecal lysozyme in mastiha patients (p = 0.018) with the mean change being significant (p = 0.021), and significant increases of faecal lactoferrin (p = 0.001) and calprotectin (p = 0.029) in the placebo group. Fibrinogen reduced significantly (p = 0.006) with a significant mean change (p = 0.018), whereas iron increased (p = 0.032) in mastiha arm. Our results show regulation of faecal lysozyme by mastiha supplement adjunctive to pharmacological treatments in active inflammatory bowel disease. An effect secondary to a prebiotic potency is proposed.

Keywords: Crohn's disease; inflammatory bowel disease; lysozyme; mastiha (Pistacia lentiscus); nutraceuticals; ulcerative colitis.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Feces
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Lactoferrin / metabolism
  • Male
  • Pistacia / chemistry*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Biomarkers
  • LTF protein, human
  • Lactoferrin