Yes please! Like raisins, grapes and certain other foods, cranberries contain several beneficial biological compounds. These include flavonoids (quercetin and myricetin), phenolic acids (benzoic acid), anthocyanins and other components which act as antioxidants. Research has shown many of these substances interfere with the damaging effects of the bacteria bad guys called streptococcus mutans which cause tooth decay.
Researchers have shown that many of these substances have a variety of beneficial effects: (1) they inhibit enzymes involved with the formation of the polysaccharide matrix these bacteria produce to form plaque; (2) they also block the ability of bacteria to adhere to tooth surfaces as well as prevent the acid formation by the bacteria which cause damage to teeth; (3) lastly and most importantly they reduce the ability of these types of bacteria to tolerate their own acid. This ability of these bacteria to survive in their own highly acidic environment has recently been shown to be unique in biology and is likely a significant factor in their capacity to cause many of the problems they do. So cranberries may open some new research frontiers in dental sciences in the future.
This holiday season be sure to say “More cranberries, please!”
Enjoy your smile…..Everyone else does!