Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Raisins Fight Oral Bacteria

Date:
June 8, 2005
Source:
University of Illinois at Chicago
Summary:
Compounds found in raisins fight bacteria in the mouth that cause cavities and gum disease, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Compounds found in raisins fight bacteria in the mouth that cause cavities and gum disease, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

"Our laboratory analyses showed that phytochemicals in this popular snack food suppressed the growth of oral bacteria associated with caries and gum disease," said Christine Wu, professor and associate dean for research at the UIC College of Dentistry and lead author of the study. Phytochemicals are compounds found in higher plants.

The data were presented today at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in Atlanta.

Wu and her co-workers performed routine chemical analyses to identify five phytochemicals in Thompson seedless raisins: oleanolic acid, oleanolic aldehyde, betulin, betulinic acid and 5-(hydroxymethyl)-2-furfural.

Oleanolic acid, oleanolic aldehyde, and 5-(hydroxymethyl)-2-furfural inhibited the growth of two species of oral bacteria: Streptococcus mutans, which causes cavities, and Porphyromonas gingivalis, which causes periodontal disease. The compounds were effective against the bacteria at concentrations ranging from about 200 to 1,000 micrograms per milliliter.

Betulin and betulinic acid were less effective, requiring much higher concentrations for similar antimicrobial activity.

At a concentration of 31 micrograms per milliliter, oleanolic acid also blocked S. mutans adherence to surfaces. Adherence is crucial for the bacteria to form dental plaque, the sticky biofilm that accumulates on teeth. After a sugary meal, these bacteria release acids that erode the tooth enamel.

Wu said that the findings counter a longstanding public perception that raisins promote cavities.

"Raisins are perceived as sweet and sticky, and any food that contains sugar and is sticky is assumed to cause cavities," Wu said. "But our study suggests the contrary. Phytochemicals in raisins may benefit oral health by fighting bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease."

"Moreover, raisins contain mainly fructose and glucose, not sucrose, the main culprit in oral disease."

In an earlier unpublished study, Wu's collaborator Shahrbanoo Fadavi, a pediatric dentist at UIC, found that adding raisins alone to bran cereal did not increase the acidity of dental plaque. Raisin bran cereal with added sugar, however, did raise acidity levels.

"Foods that are sticky do not necessarily cause tooth decay. It is mainly the added sugar, the sucrose, that contributes to the problem," Wu said.

###

The present investigation was funded by the California Raisin Marketing Board.

Wu's main collaborator in the study was A. Douglas Kinghorn, an adjunct professor in the UIC College of Pharmacy. Other UIC faculty involved in the work were Baoning Su, in the College of Pharmacy, and Jose Rivero-Cruz and Min Zhu in the College of Dentistry.

UIC ranks among the nation's top 50 universities in federal research funding and is Chicago's largest university with 25,000 students, 12,000 faculty and staff, 15 colleges and the state's major public medical center. A hallmark of the campus is the Great Cities Commitment, through which UIC faculty, students and staff engage with community, corporate, foundation and government partners in hundreds of programs to improve the quality of life in metropolitan areas around the world. For more information about UIC, visit www.uic.edu.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Chicago. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Chicago. "Raisins Fight Oral Bacteria." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 June 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050608061403.htm>.
University of Illinois at Chicago. (2005, June 8). Raisins Fight Oral Bacteria. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050608061403.htm
University of Illinois at Chicago. "Raisins Fight Oral Bacteria." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050608061403.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 18, 2014) Researchers at The National University of Singapore have invented a new microneedle patch that could offer a faster and less painful delivery of drugs such as insulin and painkillers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) The first nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola at a Dallas hospital walked down the stairs of an executive jet into an ambulance at an airport in Frederick, Maryland, on Thursday. Pham will be treated at the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) A Caribbean cruise ship carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of the Ebola virus is heading back to Texas, US, after being refused permission to dock in Cozumel, Mexico. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain on Thursday have tested negative for the deadly virus in a first round of tests, the government said Friday. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins