According to a Spanish study, red wine could help fight off gum disease and keep tooth decay at bay due to the beneficial compounds it contains.
The study, which appeared this week in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, suggests that red wine is rich in polyphenols, which are micronutrients that prevent harmful bacteria in our mouths from sticking to the teeth and gums. Those bacteria are behind gum disease, dental plaque, and cavities.
The study also found that moderate consumption of red wine can reduce the risk of heart disease, help digestion by rebooting the good bacteria in the gut, cut the risk of type 2 diabetes, and make us live longer.
While scientists said the link between red wine consumption and lower risk of gum disease and cavities is statistically significant, they admitted that they need to further study the association.
Red Wine Not so Good for the Enamel of the Teeth
Critics of the study said that people should not use red wine as a treatment for their oral health troubles. Professor Damien Walmsley, who works at the British Dental Association, told BBC that red wine is also rich in acid which means that drinking a lot of it could damage the teeth’s enamel.
For those not really into red wine, there are other foods and drinks rich in polyphenols: green tea, black tea, lemon and orange juices, black grapes, blueberries, cherries, raspberries, beans, and kiwis.
Polyphenols are also behind the bright colors in many plants, fruits and vegetables. They are known for their strong anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
It is worth noting that there are 8,000 polyphenols, which makes them the most common antioxidants in our diets. An average adult’s diet includes 100 times more polyphenols than vitamin E and ten times more polyphenols than vitamin C. Both vitamin E and C are strong antioxidants.
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