Raisins for your gum care

by Medindia Content Team on  June 9, 2005 at 2:34 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
Raisins for your gum care
Raisins contain chemical compounds that can help you fight cavities and bacterial infection in the mouth.

Researchers from the University of Illinois, Chicago, had found phytochemicals in raisins that can fight oral bacterial infections that leads to gum problems and caries. The researchers had identified five types of phytochemicals in the variety of raisins called Thompson seedless that inhibits the growth of oral bacteria.

Phytochemicals are chemical compounds that are found in higher order plants. Those identified in the raisins are oleanolic acid, oleanolic aldehyde, betulin, betulinic acid and 5-(hydroxymethyl)-2-furfural. Of them oleanolic acid, oleanolic aldehyde and 5-(hydroxymethyl)-2-furfural inhibit the growth of the bacteria called Streptococcus mutans and Porphyromonas gingivalis. oleanolic acid also blocks the bacteria from adhering to the gums and this prevents them from causing cavities. If the bacteria adheres to the tooth surface, then after a meal, which contains sugars, the bacteria releases acids that attack the enamel of the tooth.

Researchers said that in spite of being sweet, raisins do not contain sucrose that can damage the teeth. The sugars in raisins are fructose and glucose that contains the phytochemicals. The researchers also feel that their study proves that foods that are sweet are not necessarily bad for the teeth but it's the added sugar in the food that causes the maximum damage.

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