Wine extract 'could help fight tooth decay'

Wine extract 'could help fight tooth decay'

They found these polyphenols were able to prevent the bacteria from sticking to gum tissue.

Red wine controls tooth cavities as well as the gum disease, according to the research that adds its potential benefits for human health to the previous research findings showing that a glass of red wine every day may curb the major risk of neurodegenerative disorders, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

Naveed Sattar, professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow, also was skeptical about the study's findings, noting that there was no substantial evidence to prove that drinking wine overall was good for health.

The team focused on two specific polyphenols found in red wine, caffeic acid and p-coumaric acid.

- An ingredient in red wines could help fight tooth decay and gum disease. This was especially true when wine polyphenols were combined with Streptococcus dentisani, a possible oral probiotic (a promoter of good bacteria).

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Writing in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the scientists concluded: "Our study, based on an in-vitro (laboratory) model of bacterial adherence results, is very useful as an initial approach to go deeper into the mechanisms of action of red wine polyphenols against oral diseases". Other drinks rich in polyphenols include coffee, green tea, cider, blueberries, raspberries, kiwis, cherries and beans.

It was this suggestion that led the researchers in Spain to investigate whether wine polyphenols would also protect teeth and gums, because before food reaches the gut, the chemical breakdown begins in the mouth.

And they said further research was needed to determine more about what was causing the bacteria to be inhibited. "Until the benefits of this research are shown clinically, it is best to consume wine in moderation and with a meal to minimize the risk of tooth erosion".

But studies have suggested the polyphenol antioxidants found in wine, particularly red wine, may support heart health.

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