Red wine compound 'could help tooth decay and gum disease fight'

Drinking wine may protect teeth by destroying bacteria that cause cavities

Drinking wine may protect teeth by destroying bacteria that cause cavities

Previous studies have suggested that the health benefits of polyphenols are linked to them being antioxidants. Now there's another one. Foods including apple, vitamin C foods, blueberries, kiwis, and cherries can help prevent tooth decay and gum diseases.

"Polyphenols" compound in red wine is known as the fighter against bacteria in the mouth.

Despite the promising findings, the study's authors were quick to warn that we shouldn't jump to starting our day with a gargle of Merlot quite yet, as the chemicals analysed in the study were far higher in concentration than those found in wine.

To the delight of those who like to indulge in a cheeky glass of red after dinner, the health benefits of wine (in moderation, of course) are becoming increasingly well-documented.

The team focused on two specific polyphenols found in red wine, caffeic acid and p-coumaric acid. When combined with Streptococcus dentisani, believed to be an oral probiotic, the polyphenols were even more adept at resisting the pathogenic bacteria.

Interestingly, researchers discovered that wine polyphenols and extracts all prevented the bacteria from sticking to the cells.

They focused on how these compounds protect against bacteria that cause dental plaque, cavities and periodontal disease - a serious infection that damages the gums and can destroy the jawbone.

Commenting on the research, Catherine Collins, from the British Dietetic Association, said: "Unfortunately there's no "lab bench to lifestyle" recommendation today from this study". The wine polyphenols were found to be the most effective in combatting the bacteria's "sticking" ability.

"If you decide on cranberry juice, it'll deliver useful polyphenols - but with sugar and fruit acids which enhance the risk of tooth decay". Do you regularly drink wine?

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