Journal List > Korean J Gastroenterol > v.74(4) > 1135713

Shim, Song, Shin, Yoon, Park, Kim, and Lee: Inhibitory Effects of β-caryophyllene on Helicobacter pylori Infection: A Randomized Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study



Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infections, which cause a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms, are common in South Korea. Recent reports have shown a decline in the H. pylori eradication rates. β-caryophyllene is a natural bicyclic sesquiterpene that occurs in a wide range of plant species, such as cloves, basil, and cinnamon. β-caryophyllene has been reported to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effects. This study investigated the inhibitory effects of β-caryophyllene on H. pylori and its potential role as an alternative gastrointestinal drug.


This 8-week, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trial categorized subjects into a β-caryophyllene group (33 patients who received 126 mg/day of β-caryophyllene) and a placebo group (33 patients who received a placebo preparation). The inflammation level of H. pylori infiltration and the eradication rates were evaluated endoscopically and with the urea breath test (UBT) in both groups before and after administering the medication. The serum cytokine levels (tumor necrosis factor-α, and interleukin [IL]-1β and IL-6) were compared in both groups before and after administering the medication.


Complete eradication was not observed in either group. Moreover, there was no significant change in the UBT and updated Sydney score. On the other hand, the β-caryophyllene group showed significant improvement in nausea (p=0.025) and epigastric pain (p=0.018), as well as a decrease in the serum IL-1β levels (p=0.038).


β-caryophyllene improves dyspepsia symptoms and can be considered a useful supplementary treatment for gastrointestinal disease.

Figures and Tables

Fig. 1

(A, B) Pre and Post urea breath test changes in the β-caryophyllene and control groups.

Fig. 2

Loge-transformed (serum cytokine) changes in β-caryophyllene (A) and control groups (B). The p-values were calculated using a paired t-test. Data are presented as mean±standard error. Conc, concentration; TNF, tumor necrosis factor; IL, interleukin.

Table 1

Baseline Characteristics of the Study Participants (n=59)


Values are presented as mean±standard deviation or n (%).

GI, gastrointestinal; BUN, blood urea nitrogen; ALP, alkaline phosphatase; AST, aspartate aminotransferase; ALT, alanine aminotransferase; GGT, gamma glutamyltranspeptidase; hs-CRP, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein; ESR, erythrocyte sedimentation rate.

aThe p-values were calculated using a Student's t-test (continuous variables) or chi-square test (categorical variables).

Table 2

Gastrointestinal Symptom Score Changes in the β-caryophyllene and Control Groups


aIndicates statistical significance; bThe p-values were calculated using a paired t-test.


Financial support None.

Conflict of interest None.


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Dong Ho Lee

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