Natural Health News — For anyone searching for another reason to enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner, here’s a good one: A new study has found that red wine, as well as grape seed extract, could potentially help prevent cavities.
The Spanish researchers say that their report, which appears in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, could lead to the development of natural products that ward off dental diseases with fewer side effects.
Dental diseases are extremely common throughout the world. Cavities, periodontal disease and tooth loss affect an estimated 60 to 90 % of the global population.
The problems start when certain bacteria in the mouth get together and form biofilms, which are communities of bacteria that are difficult to kill. They form plaque and produce acid, which starts damaging teeth. Brushing, a good toothpaste, drinking water and other methods can help get rid of bacterial plaques, but the effects can be limited.
In addition, currently used mouthwashes can change the colour of the gums and alter taste, so people are less likely to use them for as long as they should – and of course the antibacterial triclosan found in many dental preparations is simply toxic and fluoride is increasingly coming under similar scrutiny.
Some research has suggested that polyphenols, grape seed extract and wine can slow bacterial growth, so lead researcher M. Victoria Moreno-Arribas’ and her team team decided to test them under realistic conditions for the first time.
They grew cultures of bacteria responsible for dental diseases as a biofilm.
The researchers then dipped the biofilms for a couple of minutes in different liquids, including red wine, red wine without the alcohol, red wine spiked with grape seed extract, and water and 12% ethanol for comparison.
Red wine with or without alcohol and wine with grape seed extract were the most effective at getting rid of the bacteria.
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