Magnolia bark can take bite out of bad breath

Adding a pinch of magnolia bark to mints or gum can eliminate bad breath by killing most odor-causing germs, U.S researchers have found.

Most bad breath occurs when bacteria in the mouth break down proteins, producing foul-smelling sulfur compounds. But many anti-bacterial agents cause nasty side effects like tooth staining, making them impractical for oral care. Magnolia bark extract - a traditional Chinese medicine used to treat fever, headache and stress - has proven effective against germs that cause ulcers, and recent studies have shown it has low toxicity and few side effects.

Scientists at chewing gum maker Wm Wrigley Jr Co wanted to see if it could kill halitosis-causing bacteria, and if it could be used in a gum or mint. Researchers Minmin Tan and colleagues, reporting in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, tested magnolia bark's germ-killing ability in a Wrigley lab.

They found it highly effective against three types of oral microorganisms, killing 99.9 per cent of bad breath bacteria within five minutes.

Source - Daily Mail

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