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Blueberry Extract To Fight Gum Disease

Here’s a novel approach that may help prevent gum inflammation caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth and creates an environment that can damage gums and cause tooth decay. Gingivitis, the earliest form of gum disease, can lead to periodontitis, which is more severe and a may require treatment with antibiotics. Recently, dental researchers at Quebec’s Université Laval have found that wild blueberry extract could help prevent formation of plaque by inhibiting one of the main species of bacteria linked to periodontitis. When they tested wild lowbush blueberry extracts against the target bacteria, Fusobacterium nucleatum in the lab, they found that it successfully inhibited the growth of the organism as well as its ability to form harmful biofilms. The researchers reported that the blueberry extract, which is rich in polyphenols (antioxidant compounds), also blocked a molecular pathway involved in inflammation, which is key to gum disease. They are now working on an oral device that could slowly release the blueberry extract after deep cleaning to help treat periodontitis.  

Foods for a Healthy Weight: Part 1

Getting to a healthy weight usually means a combination of exercise and healthful foods. Start with these filling, healthful options on your next grocery trip!

  1. If you are trying to lose weight, avoid the frozen, prepared, and often expensive "diet" meals and instead hit up the real, whole foods sections of the grocery store. These foods are not just filling and can help you manage your weight, but offer numerous health benefits as well.
  2. Kale. This dark green, leafy vegetable provides fiber, iron and calcium - and at about 35 calories per cup (raw and chopped), it is a low-calorie way to fill up. Choose organic when possible.
  3. Lentils. High in protein, lentils can help prevent spikes in insulin levels that can cause your body to store excess fat.
  4. Blueberries. A good source of antioxidants, blueberries have over 3.5 grams of fiber per cup, which can help to fill you up and keep your digestive system running smoothly.
  5. Wild Alaskan salmon. An excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, salmon can help improve insulin sensitivity, which helps build muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns. Sardines are another good omega-3 and protein-rich fish option.

Don’t miss tomorrow’s Daily Tip for four more waist-friendly foods! For more information on nutrition, join Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging!