JERUSALEM, June 9 (Xinhua) -- Chinese and Israeli researchers have found that probiotics made from a strain of bacteria found in traditional Chinese pickles can prevent teeth cavities, Ben-Gurion University (BGU) in southern Israel said on Tuesday.
In a study published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology, researchers from Sichuan University in Chengdu and BGU discovered that extracting strains of Lactobacilli bacteria from Sichuan pickles reduced Streptococcus mutans bacteria, which causes cavities, by 98.4 percent.
Pickles are traditional fermented foods that are an integral part of the diet in the southwest of China due to their unique taste and beneficial functions.
The numerous beneficial properties of pickles are conferred to them by the presence of microorganisms that contribute to the fermentation process.
The researchers tried to use these benefits to deal with the most common disease of the oral cavity, known as dental caries, caused by Streptococcus mutans, the most prominent of a consortium of bacteria.
This bacterium is found on people's teeth as biofilm (plaque) and known to cause cavities.
The research team started their study with 14 types of Sichuan pickles from southwest China.
They extracted 54 different strains of Lactobacilli and found that one of them (plantarum K41) reduced the incidence and severity of cavities quite significantly.
The team also found that this strain was also highly tolerant of acids and salts.
Subsequent analysis in vitro and in vivo confirmed the efficacy of this bacteria strain as a potential for probiotics.