Grape Pomace Helps Prevent Cavities
The laboratory research, led by the Iwate Biotechnology Research Center in Kitakami, tested the Vitis coignetiae grape variety using assays together with different fractions and types of grapes. They found that the chemistry of the pomace prevented the S. mutans from forming the biofilm that enables the bacteria to attach to teeth.
This biofilm, called hydrooxyapatite, utilizes sucrose for its production – which explains why eating sugar is linked to dental caries – or cavities. The S. mutans bacteria produces this, enabling it to adhere to the surface of the tooth. Here the bacteria releases acids that eat away at tooth enamel.
The grape pomace stopped the process of the glucosyltransferases S. mutans uses to produce the biofilm allowing the bacteria to adhere to the teeth. The researchers found that greater amounts of pomace increasingly prevented bacteria adherence, in a “dose-dependent” manner.
The researchers concluded that, “The current study supports the potential of Vitis coignetiae pomace as a food additive for reducing caries by inhibiting adhesion to the tooth surface and glucosyltransferase-mediated soluble glucan synthesis.”
The pomace of grapes contain numerous polyphenols that have been found to be antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Studies have found that whole grapes boost the immune system, strengthen memory, help prevent cardiovascular disease and other effects.
Yano A, Kikuchi S, Takahashi T, Kohama K, Yoshida Y. Inhibitory effects of the phenolic fraction from the pomace of Vitis coignetiae on biofilm formation by Streptococcus mutans. Arch Oral Biol. 2012 Jan 25.