If you wanted another reason to drink red wine, then here it is. According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, compounds found in red wine called polyphenols can maintain good oral health.
Researchers found that polyphenols were able to diminish the ability of three species of bacteria responsible for tooth decay, plaques, and gum lesions.
Previous studies suggested that polyphenols’ health benefits draw from their antioxidant properties, which protect the body from toxic free radicals. Other studies found that polyphenols might have another health benefit, in that, they can complement gut bacteria.
In this new study, researchers found two polyphenol metabolites common in red wine, called caffeic and p-coumaric acids. These compounds were the most effective against Fusobacterium nucleatum, which is responsible for gum lesions, Porphyromonas gingivalis, which causes periodontitis, and Streptococcus mutans, which triggers caries disease.
According to the study, the two polyphenols produce an anti-adhesive response which makes it difficult for the bacteria to attack the biofilm that coats teeth and gums. The polyphenols also have anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory effects, being able to kill the three bacteria species and mediate the body’s local immune system response.
To be certain of the polyphenol’s anti-bacterial properties, the team of scientists led by Victoria Moreno- Arribas of the Instituto de Investigacion en Ciencias de la Alimentacion in Madrid, isolated the caffeic and p-courmaric acids and combined them with other compounds in wine-based extracts. The positive effects were evident in both scenarios.
The researchers also found that the two metabolites were stronger when they were combined with another bacterial species, Streptococcus dentisani, which can function as an oral probiotic.
Previous studies have shown the benefits of red wine polyphenols in areas such as cardiovascular and neurological health. More so, some studies even indicated a link between moderate intake of red wine and the prevention of diabetes and improved gut health.
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