Leading cranberry supplier Ocean Spray ITG welcomes two new independent studies linking cranberry consumption with the prevention of periodontal or gum disease. The research is the latest in a line of studies that confirm the benefit of certain compounds found in cranberries to oral health. The studies suggest that cranberry’s unique A-type PACs (proanthocyanadins) help prevent disease-causing bacteria, such as P. gingivalis and Streptococci from adhering in the mouth and causing infection. The fruit’s anti-inflammatory capacity may also help prevent gum disease and reduce plaque-causing bacteria in the mouth.
The first of two recent studies , published in the Journal of Periodontal Research, found that cranberry extract inhibits several enzyme activities associated with periodontal disease. The researchers suggest that cranberry may work curatively by inhibiting MMPs (matrix metalloproteinases) – the enzymes that play a major role in gingival tissue destruction. The findings suggest that cranberry components offer promising applications for adjunctive treatments of the disease.
Other newly published trials by researchers at Laval University in Quebec City , Canada found cranberry juice concentrate contains molecules that inhibit the inflammatory response in the gum tissue. Inflammation caused by infection in the mouth is known to contribute to tissue destruction. The researchers found that cranberry inhibited the response of gingival fibroblasts, which supports their previous work that showed the same effect on macrophages – both of these cell types contribute to inflammation. This study provides an opportunity to build on cranberry's anti-inflammatory properties and support the opportunity for cranberry components to be used as part of a treatment regime for periodontitis.
Arun Hiranandani, global marketing manager for Ocean Spray ITG comments: “The recent research strengthens our previous understanding of cranberry’s potential for improving dental health and reinforces what we’ve long believed: that the cranberry’s unique tannins have far wider-reaching benefits than reducing the incidence of urinary tract infections alone.
“The studies indicate an interesting and exciting new direction for cranberry as an ingredient for dental health products. Existing research into the effects of cranberry on dental, gut, urinary tract and heart health help us to understand the cranberry’s role both as a preventative and potentially curative food source. We look forward to future studies that will help further our understanding of the mechanics around how the little red berry achieves such gargantuan feats.”