Here's Why Beer Is Good for Your Teeth (Really)

According to smartplanet.com, hops could one day be used for dental problems like gum disease and cavities.  Apparently the antioxidants that aren't used in the actual beer can help with these health issues.

"Those antioxidant polyphenols are contained in hop leaves, called bracts," Janet Fang writes. "Now, Japanese researchers say they’ve identified some of the substances that could be responsible for these healthful effects."

Back in the 1800s shippers found that higher proportions of the hops, or extracts from bracts, in beer kept bacteria from spoiling it, kind of like an antiseptic effect. When exposed to hops extract, Fang explains, bacteria couldn't survive.

Over time, research has come to show that bracts "stop the bacteria responsible for inflammation leading to gum disease from being able to stick to surfaces -- thus preventing the release of bacterial toxins. In addition to prevention, bracts also removed plaque from teeth," Fang reports.

Bracts are usually discarded because they're not used in making beer.  But beer makers were throwing the baby out with the bath water.  Thanks to Japanese researchers, we can have our beer, and drink it, too.

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