Probiotic Milk May Reduce Caries Risk
Milk does a body good, and the inclusion of a probiotic within milk may provide additional oral health benefits. A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Chile in Santiago examined preschool-age children with caries 10 months post-treatment. A total of 261 children were split into two study groups and given milk to drink. One group received 150 mL of milk enhanced with the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus SP1, while the other was given standard milk. Data were recorded for 10 months, with groups consuming their respective milk source daily Monday through Friday.
Data were collected through clinical examination, and caries status was measured using the International Caries Detection and Assessment System. At baseline, there was no significant difference between the two groups. However, after 10 months, the data showed that children who drank standard milk experienced higher rates of caries (65.8%) than those in the probiotic milk group (54.4%). A more pronounced difference was seen among the percentage of participants who developed new cavitated lesions (24.3% standard milk; 9.7% probiotic milk). Results were published online in the Journal of Dental Research article “Probiotic Compared with Standard Milk for High-Caries Children: A Cluster Randomized Trial” in January.
While more studies are warranted, this randomized trial demonstrates that regular intake of probiotic-supplemented milk may help reduce caries risk in young children.
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