I used to be researching pure cures for some dental issues I’ve been experiencing, and I got here throughout the thought of chewing mastic gum. The extra I seemed into it, the extra supposed advantages I found. I’m intrigued! Earlier than I strive it for myself, have you ever seemed into mastic gum in any respect? What’s your take?
— Invoice W.
Thanks for the query. Sure, I’ve seemed into mastic gum, and there’s one thing to it. Wanting again, I’m stunned I haven’t written about it already. A bunch of analysis means that mastic gum would possibly assist not solely with oral well being but additionally with quite a lot of different points, together with:
- Most cancers
Mastic gum got here again on my radar lately with the renewed curiosity in correct respiration, spurred by Wim Hof and the publication of books like James Nestor’s Breath. To make a protracted story brief, trendy people’ facial anatomy has modified considerably because the introduction of farming and grain-based diets. As meals obtained mushier, jaws turned weaker, faces narrower, and airways extra constricted. The top result’s that though people advanced to breathe virtually completely via their noses, many individuals chronically mouth breathe now, probably contributing to a bunch of recent well being issues.
Some of us are turning to mastic gum to assist construct up their masseter (chewing) muscle groups, the thought being that stronger masseters = wider jawline = improved airways and simpler nasal respiration. After all, consuming loads of steak and uncooked greens—meals that require a variety of chewing—would in all probability have the identical impact…
However I’m getting forward of myself.
What’s Mastic Gum?
Mastic gum comes from the resin of the mastic tree, native to the Mediterranean. The actual number of mastic tree that produces the famend gum grows on the Greek island of Chios, close to Turkey – thus why mastic gum is usually known as CGM (Chios gum mastic) or, extra poetically, the teardrops of Chios.
Chewing tree resin is nothing new for people. In truth, one among my earliest posts on this weblog highlighted a new-at-the-time announcement that archeologists had unearthed 5,000-year-old chewing gum at a dig in Finland. Since then, scientists have efficiently extracted DNA from discarded wads of chewing gum from this time interval and even older. Utilizing state-of-the-art methods, scientists have been in a position to analyze our neolithic ancestors’ oral microbiomes and even know what they had been consuming across the time they died. Very cool stuff.
Historic Greeks used mastic gum, in addition to oil derived from the gum, in cooking and drugs, for freshening breath, and as a digestive assist. The gum tastes bitter at first however mellows right into a licorice-like taste as you chew it. Some individuals get pleasure from it, others discover it vile – like chewing on a pine cone, I’ve heard.
Right this moment, mastic gum, important oil, or dietary supplements constructed from dried and floor resin are available. Validating what the traditional Greeks knew from expertise, up to date analysis has proven that mastic gum has antimicrobial, antifungal, and anti inflammatory properties. It comprises a bunch of helpful compounds (terpenes, specifically), so it’s not likely a shock that it appears to have such wide-ranging results.
Mastic Gum and Dental Well being
Getting again to your query, Invoice, the reply is sure. Along with freshening breath, chewing mastic gum appears to enhance oral well being. Extra particularly, a number of research present that chewing mastic gum for five, 10, or quarter-hour. reduces the degrees of micro organism comparable to streptococci, lactobacilli, and prevotella, that are identified to trigger tooth decay. Not one of the researchers adopted up with members for lengthy sufficient to see whether or not they developed fewer cavities or different points sooner or later, sadly.
One small research additionally discovered that chewing mastic gum thrice per day for 20 minutes over one week decreased plaque when in comparison with a placebo gum. Members on this research had been forbidden from brushing their tooth or doing another oral hygiene, although.
The underside line is, mastic gum in all probability has no less than some dental well being perks. There’s no hurt in asking your dentist if it may assist together with your particular concern.
Different Advantages of Mastic Gum
Because of these aforementioned helpful plant compounds, the health-promoting results of mastic gum lengthen nicely past your mouth. Extra analysis is required (a typical chorus round these elements), however mastic gum exhibits promise for quite a lot of situations together with:
A research performed again in 1984 discovered that individuals who took 1 gram of mastic powder day by day for 2 weeks considerably improved ulcer signs and confirmed extra indicators of therapeutic than counterparts in a placebo situation. Since then, a number of strains of proof recommend that mastic gum, and a few of the particular person parts therein, can successfully fight H. pylori. (Nonetheless, outcomes listed below are blended, with some research exhibiting no impact.) H. pylori micro organism are answerable for the overwhelming majority of ulcers in each the abdomen and small gut.
H. pylori can also be a threat issue for growing abdomen most cancers, though there is no such thing as a direct proof that mastic gum is helpful for prevention or therapy.
That mentioned, numerous research have proven that mastic gum and mastic oil are cytotoxic (actually, “cell killing”) for most cancers cells, together with colon, lung, and pancreatic cancers and leukemia. Researchers have recognized quite a few pathways by which mastic compounds halt most cancers proliferation by facilitating apoptosis. Up to now, this analysis has been confined to in vitro research (research utilizing cells) and mouse research, so it’s too quickly to know whether or not mastic gum would combat most cancers in people. Nonetheless, it’s fascinating.
Two small research discovered that taking mastic dietary supplements (2.2 grams per day for 4 weeks) decreased inflammatory cytokines in sufferers with energetic Chron’s illness.
Excessive lipids, blood glucose, and insulin resistance
I’m lumping these collectively as a result of that’s what the handful of accessible human research have accomplished:
- Wholesome Japanese males took 5 grams of mastic powder or a placebo every day for six months. Researchers additionally instructed half of the boys within the mastic powder group so as to add brisk walks thrice per week. In comparison with the placebo group, all the boys who took mastic powder had decrease triglyceride ranges after three months, however these variations disappeared by the six-month mark. Nonetheless, after six months, each mastic powder teams had considerably decrease insulin ranges and HOMA-IR, a measure of insulin resistance.
- A gaggle of women and men aged 50 and above obtained both a excessive dose (5 grams a day for 18 months) or a low dose (lower than one-seventh that quantity for 12 months). Complete ldl cholesterol and LDL decreased over time within the high-dose group, however the impact was solely important in males.
- 100 fifty-six women and men with whole ldl cholesterol over 200 mg/dl to begin had been assigned to obtain a placebo or one among three formulations of mastic gum. After eight weeks, members in one of many mastic gum teams (however not the opposite two) had barely decrease whole ldl cholesterol. Their common fasting blood glucose additionally dropped by 4.5 mg/dl.
I do know a few of my readers received’t be fascinated about decreasing ldl cholesterol as a matter after all, and I’m with you on that. Nonetheless, I’d enterprise to say that even most lipid speculation skeptics agree that oxidized LDL is a threat issue for heart problems. In that vein, one in vitro research in contrast how nicely completely different gums and resins for stopping LDL oxidation. All of the substances examined had been efficient to a level, however mastic gum provided essentially the most safety.
Any Dangers or Contraindications for Mastic Gum?
Mastic gum falls into the class of “issues people have been utilizing for hundreds of years however which haven’t been confirmed protected by trendy requirements.” The FDA doesn’t regulate it, however there’s additionally no proof that it poses any hazards when used as directed. Do with that what you’ll.
One vital factor to notice is that the mastic tree is a member of the pistachio household. Anybody with a tree nut or different tree-related allergy ought to keep away from mastic merchandise till they verify with their physician.
The place To Purchase Mastic Gum
As I mentioned, mastic gum, oil, and capsules are available on-line and in some pure meals shops. True mastic comes from Chios and is listed as a Product of Protected Designation of Origin by the EU, however imitation merchandise nonetheless pop up. Sadly, it may be exhausting to discern what’s what, besides maybe by value. Actual mastic isn’t low cost. One of the best you are able to do is search for assurances that the product comes from Chios, learn opinions, and purchase from a good retailer.
So what do you say? Are you curious about checking it out? Mastic stays a darling of some various well being circles, though the medical knowledge is hardly overwhelming at this level. Attempt it in case your objective is more energizing breath, a stronger jaw, and probably much less indigestion. Don’t go changing medicines for extra critical illnesses with mastic gum simply but. Nonetheless, there’s no purpose to not ask your physician about including it to your present routine should you’re curious.