Nav: Home

The starch risk to teeth

August 06, 2018

An examination of research on oral health, commissioned by the World Health Organisation, has indicated that for oral health we should stick to whole grain carbohydrates and avoid processed ones, especially if sweet.

Food contains different types of starchy carbohydrate with varying degrees of processing. Although the researchers found no association between the total amount of starch eaten and tooth decay, they did find that more processed forms of starch increased risk of cavities. This is because they can be broken down into sugars in the mouth, by amylase found in saliva.

Further findings, although based on very few available studies and weaker data, suggested a lower risk of oral cancer from consuming whole grain starches, and that whole grains may also offer protection against gum disease.

The findings come from a review of the 33 academic papers on starch and oral health and is published today in the Journal of Dental Research.

Paula Moynihan, Professor of Nutrition and Oral Health at Newcastle University, UK, who lead the research said: "The evidence suggests that a diet rich in whole grain carbohydrates is less likely to damage your oral health than one containing processed starches."

In the review, 33 papers were included of studies on foods containing what were characterized as rapidly digestible starches (e.g. white bread, crackers, biscuits, cakes, pretzels) and slowly digestible starches (e.g. wholegrains, legumes), and their relationships with dental caries, oral cancer and gum (periodontal) disease.

Updating WHO guidance on carbohydrate intake

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is currently updating its guidance on carbohydrate intake, including assessment of dietary fibre and starch quality.

WHO currently recommends reducing free sugar intake to less than 10 % of total energy (calorie) intake, and suggests further reduction to less than 5% for additional health benefits.

Free sugars are sugars that are added to foods by the manufacturer, cook, or consumer, plus those naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates.

Professor Moynihan added: "Despite an ill-advised fashion for eliminating carbohydrates from the diet, a carbohydrate-rich diet is shown to be fine for oral health so long as it is low in sugars and is based on whole grain varieties of carbs such as pasta, couscous and wholemeal bread. They key for shoppers is to look for wholemeal and wholegrain on the labels."

Additional research commissioned by the WHO into the effects of carbohydrate quality on other health outcomes, including cardiovascular diseases, cancer and type 2 diabetes, will be used to inform the forthcoming guideline.
-end-
Reference:

Effects of starch on oral health: systematic review to inform WHO Guideline

Halvorsrud, Lewney J, Craig D, Moynihan P J. Journal of Dental Research. Doi: 10.1177/0022034518788283

https://www.ncl.ac.uk/dental/staff/profile/paulamoynihan.html#background

Newcastle University

Related Cancer Articles:

Radiotherapy for invasive breast cancer increases the risk of second primary lung cancer
East Asian female breast cancer patients receiving radiotherapy have a higher risk of developing second primary lung cancer.
Cancer genomics continued: Triple negative breast cancer and cancer immunotherapy
Continuing PLOS Medicine's special issue on cancer genomics, Christos Hatzis of Yale University, New Haven, Conn., USA and colleagues describe a new subtype of triple negative breast cancer that may be more amenable to treatment than other cases of this difficult-to-treat disease.
Metabolite that promotes cancer cell transformation and colorectal cancer spread identified
Osaka University researchers revealed that the metabolite D-2-hydroxyglurate (D-2HG) promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition of colorectal cancer cells, leading them to develop features of lower adherence to neighboring cells, increased invasiveness, and greater likelihood of metastatic spread.
UH Cancer Center researcher finds new driver of an aggressive form of brain cancer
University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researchers have identified an essential driver of tumor cell invasion in glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer that can occur at any age.
UH Cancer Center researchers develop algorithm to find precise cancer treatments
University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researchers developed a computational algorithm to analyze 'Big Data' obtained from tumor samples to better understand and treat cancer.
New analytical technology to quantify anti-cancer drugs inside cancer cells
University of Oklahoma researchers will apply a new analytical technology that could ultimately provide a powerful tool for improved treatment of cancer patients in Oklahoma and beyond.
Radiotherapy for lung cancer patients is linked to increased risk of non-cancer deaths
Researchers have found that treating patients who have early stage non-small cell lung cancer with a type of radiotherapy called stereotactic body radiation therapy is associated with a small but increased risk of death from causes other than cancer.
Cancer expert says public health and prevention measures are key to defeating cancer
Is investment in research to develop new treatments the best approach to controlling cancer?
UI Cancer Center, Governors State to address cancer disparities in south suburbs
The University of Illinois Cancer Center and Governors State University have received a joint four-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to help both institutions conduct community-based research to reduce cancer-related health disparities in Chicago's south suburbs.
Leading cancer research organizations to host international cancer immunotherapy conference
The Cancer Research Institute, the Association for Cancer Immunotherapy, the European Academy of Tumor Immunology, and the American Association for Cancer Research will join forces to sponsor the first International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel in New York, Sept.

Related Cancer Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Changing The World
What does it take to change the world for the better? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas on activism—what motivates it, why it matters, and how each of us can make a difference. Guests include civil rights activist Ruby Sales, labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, author Jeremy Heimans, "craftivist" Sarah Corbett, and designer and futurist Angela Oguntala.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#520 A Closer Look at Objectivism
This week we broach the topic of Objectivism. We'll be speaking with Keith Lockitch, senior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute, about the philosophy of Objectivism as it's taught through Ayn Rand's writings. Then we'll speak with Denise Cummins, cognitive scientist, author and fellow at the Association for Psychological Science, about the impact of Objectivist ideology on society. Related links: This is what happens when you take Ayn Rand seriously Another Critic Who Doesn’t Care What Rand Thought or Why She Thought It, Only That She’s Wrong Quote is from "A Companion to Ayn Rand"