Sunday, October 30, 2011


Can any one believe that "eating" Apple is dangerous to the dental system? Well, this is what a new finding has concluded! It is some what unbelievable that drinking a cola beverage is safer than eating an apple but that is what some scientists want the consumers to be aware of. According to them the 2 mm enamel coating of the teeth can get eroded by the acidity and high sugar content of the fruit. If sufficient care is taken to brush the teeth immediately after eating apple or if the mouth is washed thoroughly, the extent of damage can be significantly reduced. Also recommended is to take milk while eating an apple which can achieve neutralization of the fruit acids by the calcium present in the milk. The old saying that an apple a day can keep doctor away may have to be modified to "an apple a day can invite a dentist"! Here is a take on this interesting development.

"People who ate apples were 3.7 times more likely to have dentine damage, while carbonated drink consumers had no additional risk. Fruit juice increased the likelihood of damage to the enamel around the top of the teeth near the gums fourfold, while lager, which is acidic, raised the chances of dentine damage threefold. Some apples contain as much as four teaspoons of sugar which contributes to raised acid levels in the mouth. Dr Glenys Jones, nutritionist at the Medical Research Council's Human Nutrition Research unit, says: 'Fruit can be acidic and obviously does have a sugar content but I would not want anyone to be discouraged from consuming fruit and fruit juices.' One suggestion is to eat your apple with milk or a piece of cheese as both contain calcium, which neutralises acid. Drinking water immediately after eating an apple will also help, washing away harmful effects. Dr Jones adds: 'Drinking fruit juice and smoothies with a straw is a way of protecting your teeth. 'Brushing your teeth before eating acidic foods can also help because it provides a barrier between the food and the teeth."'

One wonders where the science is taking the common man, innocent of any deep knowledge about food, nutrition and health, through such confusing reports and in this case if apple consumption is being discouraged due to dental damage, what will happen to the oft repeated slogan of nutrition experts that fruits and vegetables must be consumed in large quantities to maintain good health?. If such brief contact of acidic foods like apple can do damage to the teeth what will happen to people who consume a variety of foods containing acidulants like Tamarind, Amchur, Kokum, Lemon juice etc,especially in countries like India? Food preservation is often achieved through reducing the pH of the food to a level that is considered very acidic for preventing proliferation of bacteria and the new findings may discourage this ancient practice due to fear from dental decay!


No comments: