Printer Friendly

For, a better smile, have some wasabi.

Eating wasabi with your sushi could do more than add spark to your lunch. The pungent, horseradish-like condiment--already known to contain infection-fighting chemicals--might also fight cavities.

New research hints that certain chemicals in wasabi can inhibit tooth decay, says Hideki Masuda of the Material Research and Development, Laboratories at Ogawa & Co. in Chiba, Japan. In his test-tube experiments, Masuda said, these chemicals block an enzyme that the tooth-attacking bacterium, Streptococcus mutans, uses to make plaque. He reported his results in Honolulu last month at the 2000 International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies.

The cavity-fighting chemicals, called isothiocyanates, are also the source of wasabi's sharp smell and taste. Various forms of these chemicals appear too in other cruciferous vegetables, which include cabbage, radishes, cauliflower, and mustard.

Over the years, researchers have uncovered evidence that isothiocyanates possess antimicrobial and anticancer properties. So adding wasabi to sushi plates, for example, could safeguard people against microbial diseases sometimes contracted from raw fish, notes Fereidoon Shahidi of Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John's.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:hot mustard may prevent tooth decay
Author:Gorman, Jessica
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jan 13, 2001
Previous Article:Where the tire meets the conveyor belt.
Next Article:Explorers pinpoint source of the Amazon.

Related Articles
Rinsing away decay; while new inroads in chemical dentistry aren't likely to make the dentist's drill obsolete, they may reduce the need for drilling...
Cheesy plaque attack.
Not all teeth benefit from fluoride.
Survey finds gaps in kids' dental care.
Mouth paint.
The New Cavity Fighters.
Novel material fights against cavities.
Sealants: basic information, advanced technology.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters