Does Saliva Destroy Nutrients in Berries?Saturday, February 2nd, 2013, 8:07 pm
We have all heard about the health benefits of eating berries but does our saliva destroy the nutrients in these superfoods? Scientists have found that the chemical compounds that give berries their beautiful colors promote good health and may even help fight cancer. But no one had ever looked at what happens when we eat the berries and they are exposed to our saliva. Until now that is!
Researchers from Ohio State University discovered that two types of pigments in berries, called anthocyanins, degrade in the mouth. The other types of pigments did not seem to be affected as badly. The scientists also showed that bacteria living in the mouth were responsible for most of the breakdown that occurs when berries encounter saliva. They are still investigating whether it’s the berry pigments or the by-products after the breakdown that are responsible for promoting health benefits.
“Increased intake of fruits and vegetables is associated with a decreased risk of some chronic diseases,” said Dr. Mark Failla. He continued “An understanding of the metabolism of these compounds, and the relative activities of the compounds in the consumed fruit and their metabolic products, is needed to make scientifically sound dietary recommendations and to develop effective delivery vehicles for the mouth.”
Scientists are hoping to figure out ways to give us the most health protective benefits. Until they figure this out – go ahead and eat lots of berries. They are great for your smile and your whole body!
Tags: oral health
Category: oral health