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Fight Cavities with Red Wine and Cranberries

Hot & Cool Trends

As you’re trying to decide which drink to reach for during those holiday parties, you might want to grab the glass of red wine for the sake of your teeth. Research indicates the compounds in red vino can prevent cavities and reduce plaque build-up, as reported in a story for myhealthnews.com by Amanda Chan.

The compounds are called polyphenols, and they the block bacteria molecule streptococcus, which are found in everyone’s mouth.

The polyphenols from the fermented grape stems, seeds, and skins left over from wine production help good bacteria in our mouth to thrive, and keep the bad bacteria from sticking to our teeth, according to researcher Hyun Koo, a microbiologist from the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York.

Koo also found that compounds in cranberries work in a similar way. When lab rats were fed cranberry compounds, their cavities were reduced by 45 percent. (Who knew rats had cavities?)

You might even start finding these compounds soon in products such as mouthwashes, toothpastes and chewing gum. Koo and his colleagues are working on that.

Hmmm. A glass of Cabernet with a cranberry garnish sounds pretty good right now. I’ll drink a toast to Mr. Koo and my dentist, Dr. Fankhauser.

Photo credit: Dreamstime

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