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The cariostatic potential of cheese: Cooked cheese-containing meals increase plaque calcium concentration

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Paula Moynihan


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Objective: Eating cheese by itself increases plaque calcium concentration - which is probably one mechanism of the well-established action of cheese in reducing experimental caries. The objective of the present study was to determine whether consumption of cheese as part of a cooked, mixed meal (ie as it is habitually consumed) is able to increase plaque calcium concentration. Design: Plaque samples were obtained from 16 adult volunteers before and 5 minutes after consumption of either a 15 g cube of cheese, one of two cheese-containing test meals, or one of two control meals. Each subject tested each of the four meals on a separate occasion. Plaque calcium concentration was measured using atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Results: The test meals increased plaque calcium concentrations to a significantly greater magnitude than the control meals (P < 0.05). A non-significant trend was observed towards a larger magnitude of change in plaque calcium concentration in the 8 subjects with the lowest, compared with the 8 subjects with the highest baseline concentration. Conclusion: The findings suggest that cheese-containing meals increase plaque calcium concentration and thus probably protect against dental caries. © British Dental Journal 1999.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Moynihan PJ; Ferrier S; Jenkins GN

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Dental Journal

Year: 1999

Volume: 187

Issue: 12

Pages: 664-667

Print publication date: 01/01/1999

ISSN (print): 0007-0610

ISSN (electronic): 1476-5373

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group

PubMed id: 10654441