December 15, 2010
Stop gum and heart disease with bacteria
Inflammation in your gums is a serious condition. It leads to tooth loss. And it can cause heart and vascular disease. Finding inexpensive ways to prevent tooth loss is imperative. Your dentist will tell you to brush and floss your teeth. But there's even more you can do that's both easy and tasty.
Researchers recently conducted a controlled but unblended study on 50 participants. They gave the group a probiotic milk and followed them for eight weeks, and compared them to a control group.
Those consuming the probiotic milk had significantly lower elastase and MMP-3 levels. These are enzymes that break down tissue and collagen, and contribute to aging. Those in the control group had higher markers of oxidative stress.
This study showed that the beneficial action of probiotic bacteria can enhance the health of your gums. It makes sense. After all, our mouth is just as much a part of our digestive tract as our intestines. It's loaded with bacteria, some of which are quite nasty. Probiotics can squeeze out some of the bad guys, which incite inflammation. The result is a healthier mouth.
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You know I'm not a real fan of milk. Many people cannot tolerate it. But if you can, consider kefir or making your own kefir. Here's how to do it.
Warm the milk to 90 degrees (slightly below skin temperature).
Stir in the kefir starter (available at any health food store).
Pour this mixture into a glass jar with a tight fitting lid and set it aside for 24 hours while it ferments.
When fermented, shake well, and refrigerate until it's ready to drink.
As an alternative, you can get a liquid probiotic at your local health foods store. Swish it around in your mouth until it totally coats your gums; then swallow. You can break open a capsule of Advanced Probiotic Formula and rub the powder on your gums.
Probiotics could be a very inexpensive way to preserve your gums, slow the loss of your teeth, and protect your heart and vascular system.
Ref: J Clin Periodontal, 2009; 36(10): 850-6.