By Margarita Nahapetyan
New research from the Israeli scientists indicates that a coffee extract can inhibit the bacteria that is associated with bad breath. Researches found that the coffee beans contain compounds that prevent bacteria from releasing the gases behind halitosis, or bad breath.
New laboratory tests have shown that the coffee extract prevents malodorous bacteria from making their presence felt - or smelt. "Everybody thinks that coffee causes bad breath," said breath expert Professor Mel Rosenberg of the Tel Aviv University's Faculty of Medicine, "and it is often true, because coffee, which has a dehydrating effect in the mouth, becomes potent when mixed with milk, and can ferment into smelly substances."
However, in contrast to what they have expected, the investigators discovered some components in coffee that actually prevent bad breath. In laboratory tests at Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Prof. Rosenberg and his colleagues monitored the effect of malodorous bacteria in saliva. For the study purposes, the breath experts examined three different extracts of coffee, including the Israeli brand Elite coffee, Landwer Turkish coffee, and an American brand Taster's Choice.
Prof. Rosenberg expected to show the malodor-causing effect of coffee in an in vitro saliva evaluation that was developed by Dr. Sarit Levitan in his laboratory. To his surprise, he found that the extracts had the opposite effect, inhibiting odor causing bacteria. "The lesson we learned here is one of humility," said Prof. Rosenberg. It was expected that coffee would be associated with bad breath, but there is something inside this magic brew that has the opposite effect, he added.
The investigators did not identify specifically what compounds have contributed to the beneficial effects, but Prof. Rosenberg hopes that in future studies they might be able to determine the active ingredient, and this may lead to the development of a new class of breath remedies that would prevent bad breath from happening instead of dealing with it after it occurs. The scientists can add purified extract of coffee to the pellets of the breath to stop the formation of the bacteria and eliminate bad breath at its source, rather than mask it with a mint flavor, Prof. Rosenberg said.
Prof. Rosenberg had previously developed a popular mouthwash Dentyl pH that is sold widely in European countries, as well as a pocket-based breath test, and an anti-odor chewing gum. He is now thinking about creating a mouthwash, toothpaste, or chewing gum that will be based on coffee. The effects could be similar to those of plant extracts such as clove oil, which have also been found to have anti-bacterial properties that prevent bad breath.
The findings were presented in April for members of the International Society for Breath Odor Research in Germany.