Pricey Mark,

I used to be researching pure treatments 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 attempt 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. Trying again, I’m shocked I haven’t written about it already. A bunch of analysis means that mastic gum may assist not solely with oral well being but in addition with a wide range of different points, together with:

  • Dyspepsia
  • Ulcers
  • Diabetes
  • 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 quick, fashionable people’ facial anatomy has modified considerably for the reason that creation of farming and grain-based diets. As meals acquired mushier, jaws grew to become weaker, faces narrower, and airways extra constricted. The top result’s that though people advanced to breathe virtually solely by means of their noses, many individuals chronically mouth breathe now, probably contributing to a number of contemporary well being issues.

Some of us are turning to mastic gum to assist construct up their masseter (chewing) muscle tissues, 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 number of chewing—would most likely 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 typically known as CGM (Chios gum mastic) or, extra poetically, the teardrops of Chios.

Chewing tree resin is nothing new for people. In reality, certainly one of 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 strategies, scientists have been in a position to analyze our neolithic ancestors’ oral microbiomes and even know what they have 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 medication, for freshening breath, and as a digestive support. The gum tastes bitter at first however mellows right into a licorice-like taste as you chew it. Some folks get pleasure from it, others discover it vile – like chewing on a pine cone, I’ve heard.

Immediately, mastic gum, important oil, or dietary supplements comprised of 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 incorporates a number 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 15 minutes. reduces the degrees of micro organism reminiscent of streptococci, lactobacilli, and prevotella, that are recognized to trigger tooth decay. Not one of the researchers adopted up with contributors for lengthy sufficient to see whether or not they developed fewer cavities or different points sooner or later, sadly.

One small examine additionally discovered that chewing mastic gum thrice per day for 20 minutes over one week lowered plaque when in comparison with a placebo gum. Individuals on this examine have been forbidden from brushing their tooth or doing every other oral hygiene, although.

The underside line is, mastic gum most likely has not less than some dental well being perks. There’s no hurt in asking your dentist if it might assist along with your particular concern.

Different Advantages of Mastic Gum

Due to these aforementioned helpful plant compounds, the health-promoting results of mastic gum lengthen nicely past your mouth. Extra analysis is required (a standard chorus round these elements), however mastic gum exhibits promise for a wide range of circumstances together with:

Ulcers

A examine performed again in 1984 discovered that individuals who took 1 gram of mastic powder daily 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 number of the particular person parts therein, can successfully fight H. pylori. (Nonetheless, outcomes listed below are combined, with some research exhibiting no impact.) H. pylori micro organism are accountable for the overwhelming majority of ulcers in each the abdomen and small gut.

Most cancers

H. pylori can also be a danger 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 stated, 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 numerous pathways by which mastic compounds halt most cancers proliferation by facilitating apoptosis. To date, 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 attention-grabbing.

Chron’s illness

Two small research discovered that taking mastic dietary supplements (2.2 grams per day for 4 weeks) lowered 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 obtainable human research have performed:

  • 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 bunch of women and men aged 50 and above acquired both a excessive dose (5 grams a day for 18 months) or a low dose (lower than one-seventh that quantity for 12 months). Whole 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 complete ldl cholesterol over 200 mg/dl to start out have been assigned to obtain a placebo or certainly one of three formulations of mastic gum. After eight weeks, contributors in one of many mastic gum teams (however not the opposite two) had barely decrease complete ldl cholesterol. Their common fasting blood glucose additionally dropped by 4.5 mg/dl.

I do know a few of my readers gained’t be fascinated with reducing 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 danger issue for heart problems. In that vein, one in vitro examine in contrast how nicely completely different gums and resins for stopping LDL oxidation. All of the substances examined have 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 1000’s of years however which haven’t been confirmed secure by fashionable 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 necessary 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 stated, 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 laborious to discern what’s what, besides maybe by value. Actual mastic isn’t low-cost. The most effective 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 different well being circles, though the medical information is hardly overwhelming at this level. Strive it in case your purpose is more energizing breath, a stronger jaw, and presumably much less indigestion. Don’t go changing medicines for extra critical illnesses with mastic gum simply but. Nonetheless, there’s no motive to not ask your physician about including it to your present routine should you’re curious.

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Concerning the Creator

Mark Sisson is the founding father of Mark’s Day by day Apple, godfather to the Primal meals and life-style motion, and the New York Occasions bestselling creator of The Keto Reset Weight-reduction plan. His newest ebook is Keto for Life, the place he discusses how he combines the keto eating regimen with a Primal life-style for optimum well being and longevity. Mark is the creator of quite a few different books as nicely, together with The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the expansion of the primal/paleo motion again in 2009. After spending three many years researching and educating of us on why meals is the important thing part to reaching and sustaining optimum wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food firm that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Complete30-friendly kitchen staples.

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