A new team of Israeli and Chinese researchers have discovered an bizarrely interesting fact - pickles can help prevent dental cavities.
A Chinese research team, which included one Israeli researcher, Prof. Ariel Kushmaro from the Ben-Gurion Univeristy of the Negev, made the discovery.
The team found that a probiotic made from a strain of bacteria found in pickles, specifically Chinese pickles, reduces the development of cavity producing bacteria by 98.4%.
The most common disease of the oral cavity is caused by a bacterium called Steptococcus mutans and is found on people's teeth as plaque, which is known to cause cavities. Researchers discovered the major reduction of the bacteria after they extracted strains of Lactobacilli from Sichuan pickles.
During the study the team started with 14 types of Sichuan pickles from southwest China. They extracted 54 different strains of Lactobacilli and found that one, L. plantarum K41, reduced the incidence and severity of cavities quite significantly.
That particular strain was also highly tolerant of acids and salts. Further analysis in-vitro and in-vivo bore out the efficacy of this bacteria strain as a potential for probiotics.