Thursday, June 09, 2005

Raisin industry touts dental benefits

Sometimes I like to follow research about the benefits of a particular kind of food - and what is fun is that the press release about the finding is always from the company that produces that type of food. So, here is one that comes from a reputable meeting - the American Society for Microbiology (ASM):

Researchers say at the annual ASM meeting that compounds found in raisins fight bacteria in the mouth that cause cavities and gum disease.

Christine D. Wu, professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry and lead author of the study, says the data she reports counters a longstanding public perception that raisins promote cavities.

I am just curious, have you had that perception for a while?

"Raisins are perceived as sweet and sticky, and any food that contains sugar and is sticky is assumed to cause cavities," Wu says in a press release. "But our study suggests the contrary. Phytochemicals in raisins may benefit oral health by fighting bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease.

"Foods that are sticky do not necessarily cause tooth decay; it is mainly the added sugar (sucrose) that contributes to the problem," Wu says.

And of course - the part I like best: "The present study was funded by the California Raisin Marketing Board," according to the press statement.

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