Red wine strikes again. It seems there’s nothing that this miracle drink can’t do, according to scientists, including slowing the effects of ageing, improving heart health, and now benefiting oral health.
Researchers from the Spanish National Research Council have found that the antioxidants contained in red wine, knows as polyphenols, could be potentially effective in preventing damaging microbes from attaching to the gums. In turn, this will reduce a red-wine drinkers’ risk of developing serious health concerns such as gum disease and tooth decay.
But before you go reaching for a morning glass of red-wine mouth wash, the study does come with some caveats, and suggests that the new information should be used to isolate the beneficial molecules from red wine, and harvested into preventative oral care.
The message has also raised some eyebrows in the medical community. “There is little doubt that polyphenols have huge benefits for our dental health, however, I would argue that these can be gained from less acidic and potentially damaging beverages such as green tea,” suggests Dr. Lewis Ehrlich, a holistic dentist from Sydney Holistic Dental Centre.
“The concern that I have is two-fold. One is that wine is very acidic and can damage enamel over time. The second is that regular consumption of wine can stain teeth,” explains Dr. Ehrlich.
Whilst the Spanish study produced obvious results in relation to the benefits of polyphenols in regard to oral health specifically, Dr. Ehrlich’s concerns are echoed among the dental health community. Although not all is lost, as the antioxidants can be found in a host of healthier foods, not to mention foods that won’t get you plastered over breakfast.
To dose up on the same polyphenols that were found by the Spanish researchers, reach for a handful of berries, dark chocolate, or some flaxseed meal. And then have a red with dinner, because it’s better to be safe than sorry, right?