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Grape Seed Extract May Stop Bacteria Involved in Bad Breath and Gum Disease

By CP Staff

A new study suggests that grape seed extract may inhibit the bacteria known to cause bad breath and gum disease.

Periodontitis is a gum disease that destroys the soft tissue and bone supporting the teeth. Thirty to 50 percent of the US population suffers from the condition, which is thought to be the second most common disease worldwide.

In an in vitro study, researchers investigated whether grape seed extract could inhibit Porphyromonas gingivalis and Fusobacterium nucleatum, bacteria responsible for both periodontitis and bad breath. The researchers tested the effects of grape seed extract (97 percent polyphenols) on these two anaerobic bacteria.

The results indicated that grape seed extract exhibited antibacterial activity against the two strains. Moreover, the grape seed extract could penetrate the biofilm that surrounded the bacteria. Biofilms serve to protect bacteria against antimicrobial agents and dental plaque's biofilm is particularly complex.

Grape seed extract also had an antioxidant activity higher than vitamins C and E, according to measures taken with the Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) test. This was important to the findings of the study because gum disease originates due to the bacteria's presence and its biofilm protection, but the disease progresses because of an excess release of reactive oxygen species that trigger the inflammatory process. Grape seed extract's antioxidant abilities may quench the free radicals implicated in the progression of gum disease.

The researchers concluded, “These findings indicated that GSE could be used in oral hygiene for the prevention of periodontitis.”

Reference:

Furiga A, Lonvaud-Funel A, Badet C. In vitro study of antioxidant capacity and antibacterial activity on oral anaerobes of a grape seed extract. Food Chemistry.

15 April 2009;113( 4);1037-1040. Available online prior to April publication date.

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