​A Mushroom a Day Keeps the Dentist and Cardiologist Away

​A Mushroom a Day Keeps the Dentist and Cardiologist Away

to a store near you… mushroom cookies!

In the last few years, several
mushroom extracts have been patented for use in “dental health
foods” (Kato,
Kikuchi et al.; Nam ; Sekiya, Konda et al.)
Imagine eating all the confections you want and never getting a
cavity because the cookies are laced with mushrooms. Not only will
mushrooms make cookies tooth-friendly, they also can be added to any
other refined carbohydrates, which are so bad for our teeth. Yay,

and gingivitis start off as a microbial community embedded in an
organized matrix of bacteria, food and your own saliva, forming a
biofilm. Your mouth is a delicate balance of hundreds of “good”
and “bad” bacteria. Most of these microbial inhabitants are
harmless, but certain drinks (sodas and fruit juices) and foods
(processed sugars and starches) can shift the balance in favor of the
few bad bacteria that form biofilms, which can lead to cavities or
gingivitis. Biofilms actually change the environment on the surface
of your teeth, making it a home where bad bacteria like
or Neisseria can thrive and dig into your tooth enamel and

Biofilms are nothing new to
dentistry. Back in the 17
th century, Antonie van
Leeuwenhoek, “the father of microbiology,” first used a
microscope to see aggregates of bacteria he’d scraped off his teeth
Banthia et al. 2011). But only recently has it
come to light that biofilms have other effects on our health.

Bacteria in biofilms are now
thought to cause up to 65 percent of human infections. In an
impenetrable biofilm, the inaccessibility of the bacteria makes them
more resistant to the immune system and antibiotics (Samaranayke
2006). Several systemic diseases, including
cardiovascular disease and diabetes, are thought to be linked to
gingivitis biofilms (Li,
Kolltveit et al. 2000; Leishman, Do et al. 2010).
Studies have revealed coronary artery plaques that contain some of
the same species of bacteria as periodontal biofilms (Gaetti-Jardim,
Marcelino et al. 2009; Ohki, Itabashi et al. 2012; Armingohar,
Jørgensen et al. 2014).

biofilms can be easily removed with good dental hygiene. Even so,
people who brush their teeth regularly still get cavities and
gingivitis. That’s because the biofilms can calcify, making them
difficult to remove.

Strong mouthwash can kill most
bacteria, which means it can also throw off the balance of good
bacteria, leaving your mouth an empty niche where bad bacteria can
easily move in and start up a biofilm residence. Functional foods
like mushrooms, on the other hand, can kill the bad bacteria and
remove biofilms while leaving the good bacteria (Ciric,
Tymon et al. 2011).

can form on almost any surface, including deep in soil. So it would
make sense that fungi, which live in soil, have evolved mechanisms to
kill pathogens while preserving good bacteria.

In studies, several mushrooms
have been shown to prevent bacterial adhesion, biofilms, cavities,
periodontal disease and inflammation. 
Those include lion’s mane, pearl oyster, shiitake and reishi (Signoretto,
Burlacchini et al. 2011; Signoretto, Marchi et al. 2014; Sekiya,
Konda et al. ; Zaura, Buijs et al. 2011) . All
varieties that can be easily grown on kits. So if you want to stay
healthy, you can start by regularly eating mushrooms.

Armingohar, Z., J. J.
Jørgensen, et al. (2014). “Bacteria and bacterial DNA in
atherosclerotic plaque and aneurysmal wall biopsies from patients
with and without periodontitis.”
Journal of Oral Microbiology
6: 10.3402/jom.v3406.23408.

Chandki, R., P.
Banthia, et al. (2011). “Biofilms: A microbial home.”
Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology 15(2):

Ciric, L., A. Tymon, et
al. (2011). “In Vitro Assessment of Shiitake Mushroom (Lentinula
edodes) Extract for Its Antigingivitis Activity.”
Journal of
Biomedicine and Biotechnology

Gaetti-Jardim, E., S.
L. Marcelino, et al. (2009). “Quantitative detection of
periodontopathic bacteria in atherosclerotic plaques from coronary
Journal of Medical Microbiology 58(12):

Kato, H., A. Kikuchi,
et al. Dental caries prevention composition e.g. for foodstuff
comprises water soluble extraction component derived from mushroom as
active ingredient, IWATE KEN (IWAT-Non-standard) UNIV IWATE MEDICAL
: 12.

Leishman, S. J., H. L.
Do, et al. (2010). “Cardiovascular disease and the role of oral
Journal of Oral Microbiology 2:

Li, X., K. M.
Kolltveit, et al. (2000). “Systemic Diseases Caused by Oral
Clinical Microbiology Reviews 13(4):

Nam, J. W. Composition
of powder dentifrice agent for preventing dental plague, is obtained
by blending bamboo salt, wheat flour, rosin, nelumbinis-fructus meat,
Asiasarum roots and enokitake mushroom, NAM J W (NAMJ-Individual)

Ohki, T., Y. Itabashi,
et al. (2012). “Detection of periodontal bacteria in thrombi of
patients with acute myocardial infarction by polymerase chain
American Heart Journal 163(2): 164-167.

Samaranayke, L. P.
Microbiology for Dentistry, Elsevier Health Sciences.

Sekiya, A., H. Konda,
et al. Agent used in composition for oral cavity or food-drink
product for treating bacterial infection e.g. dental caries,
comprises water and/or organic solvent extract of Ascomycetes or
Basidiomycetes e.g. oyster mushroom, Lotte Co Ltd (Lott-C)
: 21.

Signoretto, C., G.
Burlacchini, et al. (2011). “Testing a low molecular mass
fraction of a mushroom ( Lentinus edodes) extract formulated as an
oral rinse in a cohort of volunteers.”
Journal of Biomedicine
& Biotechnology
2011: Article ID 857987.

Signoretto, C., A.
Marchi, et al. (2014). “The anti-adhesive mode of action of a
purified mushroom (Lentinus edodes) extract with anticaries and
antigingivitis properties in two oral bacterial pathogens.”
Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Zaura, E., M. J. Buijs,
et al. (2011). “The Effects of Fractions from Shiitake Mushroom
on Composition and Cariogenicity of Dental Plaque Microcosms in an In
Vitro Caries Model.”
Journal of Biomedicine and

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