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Toothpaste: A New Role for Seaweed?

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Toothpaste: A New Role for Seaweed?

New research shows that seaweed may play a role in promoting dental health by fighting bacteria and plaque buildup.

While we knew that seaweed is a nutritional powerhouse—packed with iodine, iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and B vitamins—new preliminary research has uncovered that it may also play a role in promoting dental health.

Unfortunately, as many of us have discovered from personal experience, tooth brushing with toothpaste by itself does not always guarantee against plaque and cavities. This is because brushing doesn’t reach certain areas on teeth, leading to plaque development (made up of bacteria) and potentially cavities.

The researchers, from Newcastle University, studied an enzyme from a seaweed microbe called Bacillus licheniformis to see if it could clean teeth. To their amazement, the seaweed removed some of the harmful bacteria from the plaque. (Brushing, on the other hand, aims to remove the plaque itself.) It also appeared to help prevent plaque from developing in the first place.

So is Bacillus licheniformis making its way to a toothpaste or mouthwash near you? Quite possibly, say the researchers, after more tests are done to ensure safety and efficacy. In the meantime, why not check out some delicious alive recipes featuring sea vegetables? And check out what other amazing natural products can help care for your teeth and gums in our article “A Healthy Smile.”

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