Plasma free amino acid profile in quiescent Inflammatory Bowel Disease patients orally administered with Mastiha (Pistacia lentiscus); a randomised clinical trial

Efstathia Papada, Charalampia Amerikanou, Ljilja Torović, Nick Kalogeropoulos, Chara Tzavara, Alastair Forbes, Andriana C Kaliora (Lead Author)

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15 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Natural products have been studied regarding their effectiveness on Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Hypothesis/Purpose: To examine the effects of Mastiha (Pistacia lentiscus var. Chia) on clinical course and amino acid (AA) profile of patients in remission. Study design: This is a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Methods: Patients (n = 68) were randomly allocated to Mastiha (2.8 g/day) or placebo adjunct to stable medication. Free AAs were identified applying Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry in plasma. Medical-dietary history, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire, Harvey-Bradshaw Index, Partial Mayo Score, biochemical, faecal and blood inflammatory markers were assessed. Primary endpoint was the clinical relapse rate at 6 months. Secondary endpoints included variations in free AAs, inflammatory biomarkers and quality of life. Statistical significance was set at 0.05. Results: Concerning AAs and biochemical data, alanine (p = 0.006), valine (p = 0.047), proline (p = 0.022), glutamine (p < 0.001) and tyrosine (p = 0.043) along with total cholesterol (p = 0.032) and LDL cholesterol (p = 0.045) increased only in placebo group compared with baseline and the change between the study groups was significantly different. Inflammatory markers had not a significantly different change between the two groups, even serum IL-6, faecal calprotectin and faecal lactoferrin increased only in the placebo group. Although Mastiha was not proven superior to placebo in remission rate (17.6% vs. 23.5%, p = 0.549), attenuation in increase of free AAs levels in verum group is reported. Conclusion: Mastiha inhibited an increase in plasma free AAs seen in patients with quiescent IBD. Since change of AAs is considered an early prognostic marker of disease activity, this indicates a potential role of Mastiha in remission maintenance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-47
Number of pages8
Early online date13 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2019


  • Free amino acids
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Pistacia lentiscus L.
  • crude Mastiha
  • Remission

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