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
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
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.