Yogurt: An Antidote to Bad Breath?
Active Ingredient in Yogurt May Fight Bad Breath
WebMD News Archive
Forget the breath mints. Pass the yogurt.
A new study suggests that a daily dose of yogurt may keep your breath fresh
and fend off offensive odors.
Researchers found that eating 6 ounces of yogurt a day reduced levels of
odor-causing compounds, such as hydrogen sulfide, in the mouth.
They say the results suggest that the active bacteria in yogurt,
specifically Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus
bulgaricus, may have a beneficial effect on odor-causing bacteria in the
Yogurt vs. Odor-Causing Bacteria
In the study, which was presented this week at a meeting of the
International Association for Dental Research in Baltimore, researchers looked
at the effects of eating yogurt on bad breath and bacteria in the mouth.
Before the study began, 24 healthy volunteers were asked to avoid yogurt and
other foods containing the same bacteria found in yogurt, such as cheese and
pickled vegetables, for two weeks.
Researchers then took saliva and tongue coating samples to measure bacteria
levels as well as odor-causing compounds, including hydrogen sulfide.
During the study, the participants ate about 3 ounces of yogurt twice daily
for six weeks.
At the end of the study, researchers took samples again. They found that
odiferous compounds, namely hydrogen sulfide, decreased in 80% of
In addition, levels of plaque and the gum disease gingivitis were also
significantly lower among yogurt eaters.
Although further studies are needed to confirm these results, researchers
say the study suggests that adding yogurt to the diet may be a safe and
effective way to fight bad breath.