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Study indicates potential of berry extract to fight off dental bacteria

By Dental Tribune International
January 15, 2019

BRISBANE, Australia: A recent study has suggested that concentrated extracts of polyphenol-rich fruits such as cranberries and blueberries could prove beneficial for combating certain bacteria in dental biofilm. The findings of the research, conducted at the University of Queensland in Brisbane and the University of Bristol in the UK, indicate the potential for cranberry phenols to modulate the pathogenicity of dental plaque.

The objective of the study was to continue testing natural components from fruit as bacteria inhibitors, and to further the research of their effects on oral health.

The researchers tested high-quality extracts, prepared as bioactive molecules from cranberries, blueberries and strawberries, as well as a combination of the three berry extracts called Orophenol, on 24-hour-old Streptococcus mutans biofilms and compared them to the effects of a vehicle control.

The study found that higher concentrations of cranberry extract significantly reduced the bacteria’s metabolic activity and acid production and bacterial/exopolysaccharide biovolumes, as well as resulted in a less compact architectural structure than that of the control-treated biofilms. Orophenol also had a significant impact, but slightly lower than that of cranberries. Only the highest concentration level of blueberry extract significantly reduced metabolic activity and acidogenicity, but did not significantly affect the biovolume or biofilm architecture. The extract from strawberries had no significant impact on any bacterial activity. No extract killed the bacteria.

Continued research goes into fruit extracts for oral health care and bacteria management.

The study, titled “Inhibitory effects of fruit berry extracts on Streptococcus mutans biofilms”, was published online in the European Journal of Oral Sciences on 28 December 2018 ahead of inclusion in an issue.

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