Pickles can help to prevent tooth decay, study finds

Pickles can help to reduce the level of cavity-producing bacteria and lead to better oral health, it has been suggestedPickles can help to reduce the level of cavity-producing bacteria and lead to better oral health, it has been suggested.

This is according to a new study that looked at a probiotic made from a bacteria found in Chinese pickles.

The researchers analysed 14 different types of Sichuan pickles grown in southwest China, where they make up a traditional part of the diet.

After extracting more than 50 strains of the bacteria Lactobacilli, they found one – L. plantarum K41 – significantly reduced the number and severity of cavities.

Additionally, it was highly tolerant of acids and salts.

Drop in harmful bacteria

Tooth decay is often caused by a bacteria called Steptococcus mutans (S. mutans), a major contributor to dental caries.

But the research team, from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, found the pickles reduced this cavity-producing bacteria by a significant 98.4%.

This comes as research suggests warning labels could deter the public from drinking sugary beverages.

A study concluded printing cautionary messages on sugar-filled drinks can encourage healthier choices after analysing data from more than 16,300 participants.

Potential usefulness

Anna H. Grummon is the leader of the research team and a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

‘Our findings suggest that sugary drink warnings help consumers better understand products’ healthfulness. They encourage consumers to make healthier choices about what drinks to buy,’ she said.

‘These results also highlight the potential usefulness of sugary drink warning policies in informing consumers.

‘Similarly, they could help to reduce the consumption of unhealthy beverages like sodas, energy drinks and fruit-flavoured drinks.’

Additionally, this research will be presented as part of an online conference hosted by the American Society for Nutrition (ASN).

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