Grape Pomace Helps Prevent Cavities

wild grape and cavitiesJapanese researchers have discovered that wild grape pomace – the pulp, seeds and skin of the grape left after juicing – inhibits the bacteria known for causing dental caries, Streptococcus mutans.

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.

Learn more ways to prevent cavities by stopping S. mutans.


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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.

Case Adams is a California Naturopath with a PhD in Natural Health Sciences, and Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner. He has authored 26 books on natural healing strategies. “My journey into writing about alternative medicine began about 9:30 one evening after I finished with a patient at the clinic I practiced at over a decade ago. I had just spent the last two hours explaining how diet, sleep and other lifestyle choices create health problems and how changes in these, along with certain herbal medicines and other natural strategies can radically yet safely turn our health around. As I drove home that night, I realized this knowledge should be available to more people. So I began writing about health with a mission to reach those who desperately need this information. The strategies in my books and articles are backed by scientific evidence along with wisdom handed down through traditional medicines for thousands of years.” Case connects with nature by surfing, hiking, running, biking and according to Dad, being a total beach bum.

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