Most of us are guilty of pouring another glass of red, justifying it with the facts: it has free-radical-fighting antioxidants, it’s low in calories, and provides cardioprotective benefits. Here’s another reason to host wine night: The drink can possibly protect against gum disease and tooth decay, too. Yes, even with the dreaded red wine mouth after one-too-many glasses, red wine could actually be good for your teeth.
A new study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that red wine’s polyphenols—namely caffeic and p-coumaric acids—protected against pathogenic bacteria that can cause periodontal diseases. What’s more, when researchers combined the oral probiotic Streptococcus dentisani with red wine’s polyphenols, the combined compounds further protected against the bacteria.
But don’t pour too generously just yet. “The acidic nature of wine means that consuming a lot of these drinks will damage the enamel of the teeth,” The British Dental Association’s scientific adviser, Professor Damien Walmsley, told BBC. And since the study was conducted in vitro (outside an organism’s body), Walmsley suggests consuming wine “in moderation and with a meal to minimize the risk of tooth erosion” until the study’s benefits are clinically presented on human subjects.
In fact, red wine in moderation has also shown to prevent coronary artery disease and heart attacks as well as lower harmful LDL cholesterol, thanks to the blood-vessel-protecting resveratrol.
Wondering which bottle to buy before the weekend? Check out our 18 Wines for Weight Loss.