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Red Wine Fights Cavities Too?

May 21, 2014 05:48 PM EDT
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Yet another reason to enjoy a glass or red wine? New research has found that red wine and grape seed extract both serve to prevent cavities, offering new opportunities for scientists to develop all-natural dental protection products.
(Photo : Pixabay)

Yet another reason to enjoy a glass of red wine? New research has found that red wine and grape seed extract both serve to prevent cavities, offering new opportunities for scientists to develop all-natural dental protection products.

A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, an American Chemical Society (ACS) publication, details how researchers tested the effect red wines altered in different ways had on cavity and gums disease causing bacteria communities called biofilms.

Biofilms are particularly difficult to kill and form plaque and produce acid, which damages teeth. The American Dental Association suggests that the best ways to fight plaque and tartar buildup  is to regularly floss, rush with a fluoride toothpaste, and even using antimocrobial rinses.

However, the ACS points out in a recent press release that these efforts are only partially effective, especially against hardened plaque called calcus or tartar - the primary cause of gingivitis. Rinses also can sometimes change the color of gums and alter taste, causing people to use them to the recommended extent.

On the other hand, people have no qualms sipping on a glass or two of red wine. According to the study, the researchers grew several lab-borne vultures of bacteria responsible for dental diseases as biofilm. They then subjected these test biofilms to various liquids, including alcoholic and virgin red wine, red wine with additional grape seed extract, and water spiked with 12 percent alcohol content.

Interestingly, the researchers found that the red wines, and especially the extract red wine were significantly better at dissolving the biofilms, compared to the spiked water, showing that it is the wine, not the alcohol, that is serving as an antimicrobial.

This study adds to a growing heap of evidence that indicates that red wine is good for your health. Past studies have shown that resveratrol in red wine is an effective natural anti-inflammatory, allowing for a glass a day to help preserve health and even prevent some very specific cancers.

Other studies have argues that red wine even directly influences a person's longevity. However, studies since then have argue that this may not be so.

An ACA press release detailing these findings was published in May 21.

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