Thursday, April 20, 2006

"...and it prevents cavities, too"

In March, dental researchers in Canada revealed the discovery that there are compounds in red wine that may help prevent and treat gum disease. Evidence in the lab shows that compounds called polyphenols remove the free radicals, which are molecules that cause the kind of inflammation that is often associated with gum disease.

Gum disease is believed to be a risk factor for heart disease, and while a number of studies suggest that moderate consumption of red wine may help protect the heart, the American Heart Association has not endorsed wine as a heart-disease prevention strategy.

Note that red wine gives us the purple stained teeth, which can be good thing or a bad thing. Bad in that neon-white teeth is now a fashion statement -- but good in that when you are out on a Saturday afternoon wine tasting, you can flash your purple teeth to other wine tasters and know that you all belong to the Purple Badge of Honor Club. The other good thing is that with purple teeth, we tend to be more conscientious about brushing our teeth.

Evidence also suggests that, if you don't happen to be a wine drinker, the same polyphenols are found in cranberries. But I ask you, what kind of fun preventative medicine is eating cranberries -- unless, that is, the cranberries are fermented?

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