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Cranberry - Health Research (Dental)

A study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association reported that a unique cranberry juice component, a high-molecular-weight nondialysable material (NDM), has the ability to reverse and inhibit the coaggregation of certain oral bacteria responsible for dental plaque and periodontal disease in vitro.58 In addition to cranberry, NDM was isolated from blueberries, mangos, peaches, plums and raspberries. Only weak activity was found in blueberry and the other fruits tested showed no inhibition activity.

Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition reported on a preliminary clinical trial using a mouthwash containing cranberry NDM.59 Saliva samples of the experimental group showed a two order of magnitude reduction in Streptococcus mutans colony forming units compared with the placebo group (unpublished data). A large percentage of dental caries (cavities) can be attributed to S. mutans.

Dental plaque is composed primarily of oral bacteria that have attached themselves to the tooth and gum surfaces, and to each other (coaggregation). This biofilm may be comprised of hundreds of species and can be resistant to saliva and mechanical brushing which would otherwise remove these bacteria. Plaque is a major cause of periodontal disease.


Select References:
58. Weiss EI, Lev-Dor R, Kashamn Y, Goldhar J, Sharon N, Ofek I. Inhibiting interspecies coaggregation of plaque bacteria with a cranberry juice constituent. JADA, 1998. 129:1719-1723.

59. Weiss EI, Lev-Dor R, Sharon N, Ofek I. Inhibitory Effect of high-molecular-weight constituent of cranberry on adhesion of oral bacteria. Critical Reviews in Food Science & Nutrition, 2002. 42(Suppl.): 285-292.


-  Cranberry Institue


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