Yogurt may guard against bad breath

March 16, 2005 in Nutrition Topics in the News

Yogurt may guard against bad breath

Forget the breath mints! New study findings suggest that yogurt may be another weapon in the battle against bad breath.

Researchers found that study participants who consumed 90 grams of yogurt twice a day for six weeks tended to have lower levels of hydrogen sulfide and other sulfide compounds that contribute to bad breath. 

Previous studies have pointed to the many health benefits of regular yogurt consumption. One report found that women who ate yogurt at least three times a week were less likely to have developed a urinary tract infection than women who ate yogurt less than once a week. Other studies suggest that yogurt plays a role in the prevention and management of bowel disease and other gastrointestinal conditions. Furthermore, another study showed that people who eat yogurt regularly, may have a lower risk of cavities.

During the first two weeks of the study, the 24 participants were told to maintain a diet free of yogurt as well as cheese, pickled vegetables and any other products that might contain streptococci and lactobacilli (the two healthy bacteria in yogurt). The participants then consumed sugar-free yogurt fermented with streptococci and lactobacilli twice daily -- between breakfast and lunch and between lunch and dinner -- for six weeks.

The researchers found that 80% of the study participants identified as having halitosis had lower levels of volatile sulfide compounds after eating yogurt every day compared with the earlier two-week period when they did not eat any yogurt. These study participants also had significantly less plaque and gingivitis as a result of their eating yogurt. These findings suggest that yogurt intake may reduce the components leading to halitosis and harmful bacteria.

Whether the grocery-store variety of sugar-free yogurt would be just as beneficial, however, remains to be seen.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.