. That makes sense because plants and fruits produce polyphenols to ward off infection by harmful bacteria and other pathogens.
‘Two wine polyphenols in isolation - caffeic and p-coumaric acids were effective in reducing the bacteria's ability to stick to the cells and cause cavities.’
M. Victoria Moreno-Arribas and colleagues wanted to know whether wine and grape polyphenols would also protect teeth and gums, and how this could work on a molecular level.
The researchers checked out the effect of two red wine polyphenols, as well as commercially available grape seed and red wine extracts, on bacteria that stick to teeth and gums and cause dental plaque, cavities, and periodontal disease. Working with cells that model gum tissue, they found that the two wine polyphenols in isolation -- caffeic and p-coumaric acids -- were generally better than the total wine extracts at cutting back on the bacteria's ability to stick to the cells.
When combined with the Streptococcus dentisani
, which is believed to be an oral probiotic, the polyphenols were even better at fending off the pathogenic bacteria. The researchers also showed that metabolites formed when digestion of the polyphenols begins in the mouth might be responsible for some of these effects.