Inhibition Ofdental Caries

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Cocoa contains substances that protect against dental caries (Palenik et al 1977, s'Gravenmade et al 1977) and in vitro experiments have shown that monomeric polyphenols and tannins from cocoa may interfere with glucosyltransferase activity of Streptococcus mutans and reduce plaque formation (Kashket etal 1985). Similar results were reported in hamsters, with a marked caries-inhibitive effect found with a water-extract of cocoa (Stralfors 1966). Cocoa bean husk, while not used in cocoa or chocolate, demonstrates antibacterial properties attributed to its unsaturated fatty acids and antiglucosyltransferase activities attributed to epicatechin polymers, as well as being shown both in vitro and in vivo to possess significant antiplaque activity (Matsumoto et al 2004).

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