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In an earlier unpublished study, Wu's collaborator Shahrbanoo Fadavi, a pediatric dentist at UIC, found that adding raisins alone to bran cereal did not increase the acidity of dental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 September 19, 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 September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple has delayed the launch of the HealthKit app platform, citing a bug. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Sixteen large food and beverage companies in the United States that committed to cut calories in their products far surpassed their target. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Haitians receive the second dose of the vaccine against cholera as part of the UN's vaccination campaign. Duration: 00:34 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:
from the past week

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