Novel synbiotic combinations could aid dental health

By Nathan Gray contact

- Last updated on GMT

Japanese researchers screened 12 prebiotics and 40 probiotics to try and find combinations that helped fight off oral infections.
Japanese researchers screened 12 prebiotics and 40 probiotics to try and find combinations that helped fight off oral infections.

Related tags: Probiotic

New ‘synbiotic’ combinations of probiotics and prebiotics could be used to fight off bacterial and fungal infections in the mouth, according to a new Japanese-led pilot study.

The research, published in the Journal of Oral Biosciences​, noted that while prebiotics and probiotics are well known for their potential beneficial effects in promoting the health of the human gastrointestinal tract (GI tract), much less is known about the potential benefits and mechanism of action for oral health.

“Studies have identified preventive and therapeutic roles of probiotics in oral diseases such as dental caries, periodontal disease, and candidiasis,”​ noted the Japanese-led research team. “However, none of the studies have reported a single probiotic strain with a growth inhibitory effect against all the three oral pathogens.”

Led by Yukako Kojima from Tsurumi University, the current research attempted to develop new synbiotics combinations of probiotics and probiotics that may benefit dental health by fighting off these oral pathogens, said the team.

“Five lactobacilli strains isolated from the human oral cavity were identified as suitable probiotic candidates,”​ they revealed – noting that when taken together with screening for prebiotics, the study successfully identified “a panel of candidates suitable for development as oral synbiotics in the future.”

“The present study establishes a foundation for the combination of prebiotics and probiotics that can be used to produce synbiotics, which can potentially be used to develop oral healthcare products that neutralize the growth of oral pathogenic microorganisms without disrupting the balance of a healthy oral environment,”​ concluded the authors. “These synbiotics are expected to provide the much-needed oral health benefits to the community.”

Novel synbiotics

Kojima and colleagues screened 12 prebiotics and 40 probiotic strains of lactobacilli for their ability to kill off a variety of oral pathogens including as Candida albicans​, Streptococcus mutans​, and Porphyromonas gingivalis.

“Results showed that arabinose, xylose, and xylitol are the saccharides with a strong potential to be used as prebiotics and five lactobacilli strains isolated from the oral cavity have the potential to be used as probiotics,”​ wrote the team.

They added that data on the inhibitory effects of biofilm formation showed the best candidates for probiotics were the five lactobacilli strains: 103, 108, 112, 120, and 122.

“These strains inhibited the growth of ​C. albicans and ​P. gingivalis, and had an inhibitory effect on the production of insoluble glucan by ​S. mutans,” ​they said – noting that probiotic strains isolated from dairy foods did not show a significant effect.

Source: Journal of Oral Biosciences
Volume 58, Issue 1, Pages 27–32, doi: 10.1016/j.job.2015.08.004
“Combining prebiotics and probiotics to develop novel synbiotics that suppress oral pathogens”
Authors: Yukako Kojima, et alnd com

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