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Posted: Friday, August 10 2007. 1:00 PM

Italian Study: Wine may offer oral protection

Recent research at the University of Pavia in Italy has found that both white wine and red wine may help prevent cavities, tooth decay and sore throats by the proliferation of streptococci, a type of bacteria associated with these diseases, reports Wine Spectator.

Oral strains of these bacteria are responsible for the formation of dental plaque which, if left unchecked, can lead to cavities and periodontal disease. In the throat, these strains cause the burning, red inflammation known as strep throat. "Our findings seem to indicate that wine can act as an effective antimicrobial agent," in the mouth and throat, note the authors led by Maria Daglia, a researcher at the University's Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry.

The study was published last month by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Apples, tea and mushrooms have been shown in other tests to help kill streptococci. But "wine also posesses antimicrobial properties" in general, the authors wrote A prior study found wine to be a potent killer of bacterial strains responsible for some forms of diarrhea.

How much wine people should consume to help prevent streptococci-related ailments, Gabriella Gazzani, the co-author, said that even small amounts of wine may prove to be an effective antimicrobial agent in the mouths of humans. However, further studies were necessary to determine the direct effects of wine on the mouth and throat.

The positive results add to the findings of a previous study found that a red-wine compound may help to destroy two types of bacteria associated with gum disease.

In that study, researchers found that the polyphenol resveratrol reduced one type of bacteria by 40 percent and the other by 60 percent, when tested on immune cells from mice. The ability of resveratrol to destroy streptococci was not tested in the Italian study.,1197,3895,00.html


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