Wine May Curb Cavities
Red Wine, White Wine Counter Cavity-Causing Bacteria in Lab Tests
WebMD News Archive
June 22, 2007 -- Even with the alcohol removed, red wine and white wine may
fight bacteria that cause cavities, an Italian study shows.
Before you toast the findings, remember that the study was done in test
tubes. So it's too soon to count on a glass of wine to chase your cavities
The researchers, who work at Italy's University of Pavia, included Gabriella
First, they went to a local grocery store, where they bought some
valpolicella (an Italian red wine) and pinot nero (an Italian white wine).
Back at their lab, the researchers stripped the alcohol out of the wine.
They did that to prevent ethanol from interfering with their lab tests.
Next, the researchers marinated cavity-causing streptococcal bacteria in the
wines. Both types of wine countered those bacteria and other streptococcal
bacteria that cause some cases of throat infection.
Red wine might have had more antibacterial properties than white wine, but
that wasn't certain, Gazzani's team notes.
The researchers also isolated acids found in red wine and white wine and
tested those acids against the same bacteria, which are called S. mutans
and S. pyogenes.
The isolated acids were more effective against the bacteria than the wines.
So the researchers reason that while wine fights S.mutans and
S. pyogenes, wine also contains compounds that dilute those benefits, to
The study appears online in the Journal of Agricultural and Food
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