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Polyphenol-Rich Blueberry Extract May Help Fight Periodontitis-Causing Bacteria

Recent studies suggest that your mouth health is linked with the health of the rest of your body, with some finding that mouth infections can even lead to cardiovascular events. Sometimes though the standard dentist-recommended brushing and flossing is not enough to keep your mouth healthy. A recent study has found that a polyphenol-rich extract from lowbush blueberry may inhibit certain bacteria in the mouth and reduce incidences of periodontitis.

For this study, researchers used a lowbush blueberry extract that was composed of 16.6% phenolic acids, 12.9% flavonoids, and 2.7% procyanidins. They tested the extract against the bacteria F. nucleatum using microplate assays and found that a solution with blueberry extract at a concentration of 62.5 micrograms per milliliter inhibited the growth of the bacteria by 87.5%.

F. nucleatum is an oral bacterium  that plays a role in periodontal disease. It is a key component of periodontal plaque.

They also noted an 87% decrease in IL-1beta, an 80% decrease in TNF-alpha, and a 28% decrease in IL-6, all of which are inflammatory compounds.

Researchers from Université Laval in Quebec City conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on August 4, 2015, in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Blueberries are high in flavonoids, particularly anthocyanins and flavanols. Previous studies suggest that they may help decrease the risk of dementia, aid in weight management, improve blood vessel function, lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol.

Blueberries are easy to add to your diet because they go well with pancakes, salads and smoothies.

Previous article Lutein and Zeaxanthin May Provide Cognitive Health Benefits

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