Poster Topical Area: Diet and Cancer
Poster Board Number: 227
The American cranberry, Vaccinium macrocarpon, has been reported to benefit human health and is a popular remedy for self-treatment of urinary tract infections. Cranberry juice and dried cranberries are popular snacks consumed widely. Cranberry extract and its proanthrocyanidins have shown to inhibit oral pathogens and dental plaque bacteria associated with dental caries and periodontal disease. We hypothesize that cranberry products may benefit human oral health by reducing total bacteria in the saliva and by suppressing growth and acid production of dental plaque bacteria.
Objectives: to investigate the effect of dried cranberries consumption on viability of oral bacteria in children's saliva, and the effect on in vivo human dental plaque acid production.
Methods: Craisins (commercially marketed dried cranberries), raisins, dried banana chips and gum base were used for children's saliva study (7-12 years, N=15). Dried cranberries, Gummi Bears candy and dried banana chips were used for adult's in vivo plaque pH study (18-64 years, N=6). Participants chewed and swallowed respective test foods. Children's saliva samples were collected before and after chewing and total viable bacterial counts were enumerated. The effect on in vivo plaque acid production (pH) was monitored using a microelectrode at 0, 2, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30 minutes after test foods consumption. Pearson Correlation and Chi Square tests were used for data analyses.
Results: Children's salivary bacterial counts reduced after consumption of craisins, while similar effect was not observed after consuming raisins or banana chips (p<0.05). Immediately following dried cranberries consumption, the average adult plaque pH reduced sharply to an average of 4.6 followed by a rapid increase to pH5.9 within 5 minutes. The plaque pH level maintained at 6 or >6, above caries risk pH of 5.5 throughout the 30-min testing period. Consumption of Gummi Bears candy or banana chips promoted much higher amount of acid production resulting in an average plaque pH drop to 5.5 and 5.7 and remained below 6 throughout test period.
Conclusion: Consumption of cranberry products may represent a healthier alternative over the popular sugary snacks. The concept of oral diseases prevention using dietary foods represents a healthy, novel and innovative approach in promoting human oral health, thus overall well-being.
Pediatric Dentistry Dept., college of Dentistry, University of Illinois at Chicago