12 January - 20 June 2016

Probiotic ice cream will cut levels of caries-causing bacteria in the mouth of children

7 May 2015

Ice cream may be actually be good for you…well, for your teeth anyway!  Recent research published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research by food scientists in India has shown that ice cream containing various probiotic organisms can be used to fight colonies of Streptococcus mutans (SMS), a strain of bacteria known to be the most common cause of dental caries in humans, rapidly metabolizing dietary sugars and producing acidic regions.  

In the study, 60 children aged between 6 and 12 years, none of whom had previously suffered from tooth decay, missing or filled teeth, were split into two groups, and participants were given either a normal ice cream or one containing the probiotics Bifidobacterium lactis Bb-12 and Lactobacillis acidophilus La-5 for a period of seven days.  Saliva samples taken after this period, when compared to those taken prior to the study, showed a significant reduction in the caries-causing bacteria in participants who had been eating the probiotic ice cream.  Interestingly, the effect was shown to continue for several weeks after the initial period has finished.  

It is thought that the use of probiotics provides a successful approach in the elimination of caries-causing bacteria due to the fact that these organisms have been previously shown to survive well in acidic conditions, although further study is required to determine dosage levels for long term treatment.

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