Thanks to the power of probiotics, 60 children were asked to eat ice cream to see if it helped to STOP dental cavities!

A recent Indian study, which was published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, used ice cream as a vehicle to test the effectiveness of probiotic bacteria on oral health. Despite the presence of sugar in the probiotic ice cream, it was still shown to reduce the incidence of oral cavities in the test subjects. Streptococcus mutans (MS) is one the most common cause for dental caries in human, as it converts sugars to acid which degrades the enamel on teeth.

probiotic ice cream
Could probiotic ice cream actually stop tooth decay?

A successful attempt was made to suppress the activity of this cavity-inducing oral intruder using probiotic cultures: after just a week of eating probiotic ice-cream containing Bifidobacterium lactis BB-12® and Lactobacillus acidophilus La-5, saliva samples from participants indicated a significant reduction in the levels of undesirable bacteria present in the mouth. 

B. lactis and L. acidophilus eradicate the bacteria that causes oral cavities

The double blind, placebo controlled trial randomly divided the children, who were aged between six and twelve years of age, into two groups. Samples of their saliva were taken at the start of the test period, and the levels of Streptococcus mutans measured. Over a seven day period, the children were either given normal ice cream, or a probiotic version containing 1 million colony-forming live cultures of each type of probiotic bacteria.

While those who were given the standard ice cream saw no change in oral populations of S. mutans, in those who had consumed the probiotic ice cream levels of the harmful bacteria were shown to have greatly decreased.Even after a 30 day washout period, the effect of the probiotics was still evident, though after six months this effect had diminished, suggesting that regular supplementation was necessary to maintain the positive results.

The study concluded:

“Probiotic ice-cream containing Bifidobacterium lactis BB-12® and Lactobacillus acidophilus La-5 can cause reduction in caries causative organism. The dosage of the probiotic organisms for the long term or synergetic effect on the oral health are still needed to be explored."
If you are interested in reading more about how probiotics can help to keep our mouths as well as our tums in tip top condition, then click on the following links:

Two studies show probiotics help oral health
Ice cream with acidophilus helps oral health
Kissing keeps your mouth healthy

Ashwin et al (2015) Effect of Probiotic Containing Ice-cream on Salivary Mutans Streptococci (SMS) Levels in Children of 6-12 Years of Age: A Randomized Controlled Double Blind Study with Six-months Follow Up, J Clin Diagn Res. 2015 Feb; 9(2): ZC06–ZC09.

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