Ocean Spray’s cranberry juice holds potential in reducing tooth decay, study finds
12 Jul 2021 --- Beverages rich in antimicrobial plant polyphenols, such as Ocean Spray's cranberry juice, can suppress the growth of bacteria linked to plaque formation, according to a new study published in the journal Beverages.
The plaque biofilms grown in the presence of these cranberry juice drinks were loosely attached and easily dislodged from surfaces. The antimicrobial polyphenolic compound proanthocyanidins (PACs) present in the ready-to-drink cranberry juice drinks contributed to their inhibition.
Polyphenols found in edible berries and the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) inhibited oral pathogen virulence factors.
“Cranberry juice contains bioactive components called polyphenols that can affect oral bacteria that cause dental caries and gum diseases. A study in China published this year shows the benefit of cranberry juice in suppressing H. pylori, a bacteria linked to stomach ulcers,” Christine Wu, professor at the department of pediatric dentistry at the University of Illinois in Chicago, tells NutritionInsight.
“Ongoing research is also showing that cranberry polyphenols can act as prebiotics, i.e., benefiting the gut flora, and this may help support gut health,” she adds.
The study conducted at the College of Dentistry, the University of Illinois in the US, investigated whether beverages that contain plant polyphenols inhibited growth and biofilm formation of Streptococcus mutans (bacterium found in the human oral cavity) and children’s dental plaque.
During the study, supragingival plaque was obtained from 16 children aged between 7 to 11 years old.
The study found that Ocean Spray cranberry juice cocktail and Ocean Spray diet cranberry were both effective in reducing more than 90 percent of growth and biofilm formation of Streptococcus mutans scraped from children’s plaque and grown in culture plates.
Twenty-six marketed packaged teas, ready-to-drink bottled raspberry flavored teas, and cranberry juice cocktails with and without added sugars were tested.
The study results revealed that bottled raspberry flavored teas and cranberry juice cocktails effectively suppressed test bacteria growth and biofilm development compared to controls.
Specifically, beverages that contain polyphenols constrain the growth and formation of plaque bacteria.
Antimicrobial plant polyphenols in beverages reduce plaque adherence, may improve dental health and are favored over sugary drinks. The concept of preventing oral diseases with natural foods and diet is novel, practical and accepted, according to the researchers.
Dental care in the spotlight
Industry players are eager to meet the needs of the oral and dental care markets.
Symrise recently launched its first processed probiotic for dental health. SymReboot OC has been shown to improve gum health and promote a healthy oral microbiome.
Previously, Chr. Hansen launched a dissolvable probiotic lozenge that can help lower acid-producing bacteria in the mouth and thus protect teeth.
Meanwhile, the ISA, flagged that low and no-calorie sweeteners can be used as a sugar substitute to prevent bad tooth health.
By Nicole Kerr
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