Why Garlic Is the Bad Breath King
WebMD News Archive
"Conversely, AMS concentrations in mouth air remained high for the four
hours after garlic ingestion and were similar to levels in the alveolar [lung]
and urine samples, indicating that this gas had undergone absorption form the
gut and was being released from systemic sites," write the authors. In
other words, the gas was going into the blood, circulating around the body, and
being excreted in the breath and urine.
The researchers also showed that, after the five subjects brushed their
teeth with toothpaste containing baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, levels of
the orally generated sulfur gases went down to almost nothing -- but not the
levels of allyl methyl sulfide, which remained pretty high.
"If you eat garlic, it doesn't matter what you do," Suarez says.
"You are always going to smell some garlic."
In an article that appeared in the journal Gastroenterology, William
Hasler, MD, responds to this issue by proposing the possibility of bad breath,
or halitosis, help in the form of a dietary supplement.
"Finally, the findings [of this study] raise the question as to whether
a dietary supplement could be developed that assists in gut metabolism of gases
such as allyl methyl sulfide so that garlic lovers could enjoy their meals in
much the same manner as supplemental lactase has allowed milk-intolerant
individuals to tolerate dairy products," he writes.
Allyl methyl sulfide aside, Suarez says you can decrease the amount of
sulfur-containing gases, created by garlic and other culprits, in your mouth by
brushing your tongue, where many bacteria live.
Suarez offers one more solution to bad breath he discovered from his new
study: "We used H2O2 -- hydrogen peroxide -- you
gargle with that for one minute," he says. "It is very cheap, and you
can decrease the sulfur-containing gases for eight hours."