Black tea extract and dental caries formation in hamsters.
Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2003 Jan ;54(1):89-95. PMID: 12701240
Harald A B Linke
Several studies have suggested that green tea and Oolong tea extracts have antibacterial and anticariogenic properties in vitro and in vivo. The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of a standardized black tea extract (BTE) on caries formation in inbred hamsters on a regular and a cariogenic diet. Eighty hamsters were divided into four groups of 20 animals each. Two groups received a pelleted regular diet (LabChow) with water or BTE ad libitum. The other two groups received a powdered cariogenic diet (Diet 2000, containing 56% sucrose) with water or BTE ad libitum. The animals were kept for 3 months on their respective diets and then were sacrificed. The heads were retained, the jaws were prepared and stained using alizarin mordant red II, and were then scored for dental caries according to the Keyes method. This is the first study indicating that BTE, as compared with water, significantly decreased caries formation by 56.6% in hamsters on a regular diet and by 63.7% in hamsters on a cariogenic diet (P<0.05). In the cariogenic diet group BTE, reduced the mandibular caries score of the hamsters slightly more than the maxillary caries score. The fluoride content of the standardized BTE solution was frequently monitored during the experiment; the mean fluoride concentration was found to be 4.22 ppm. A frequent intake of black tea can significantly decrease caries formation, even in the presence of sugars in the diet.