01 Mar

London waiting for Lollipops

Within no time, we London citizens would be licking lollipops daily. It is going to take up a position in our daily purchase list, not that we all love candies, but due to its ability to kill germs. Thanks to the now famous microbiologist Wenyuan Shi from UCLA who came up with his herbal lollipop, which help us kill the major culprit of tooth decay, streptococcus mutans. Mr. Shi and his team have developed a special candy infused with natural ingredients developed from licorice, which help fight the primary bacterium responsible for dental caries. This candy is now marketed by a candy manufacturer who got license from UCLA and has now started manufacturing this orange-flavoured candy. As it is sugar-free, diabetics can also use.

Dr. Shi had started his research 8 years ago with a vision of finding major pathogen causing dental decay and finding a ‘smart bomb’ to kill them without destroying the good bacteria in the oral cavity. With this vision, he travelled all over China and collected hundreds of herbs with bioactivity and potential for developing his dream product. He conducted more than 9600 experiments for this purpose, before arriving at this product. Now the manufacture who got license from UCLA has started marketing this product, “Dr. John’s Herbal Candy” from his Grand Rapids’ factory. It does not contain any sugar, fat, salt, or preservatives. This candy’s major ingredient is HSH (Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysates), which is a sweetener that doesn’t get metabolised by oral bacteria and hence doesn’t cause any plaque formation. Its caloric value is lesser than sugar, about 75% and hence does not increase the blood glucose level significantly. An extract of licorice root is used in this candy, which gives a scientific explanation to chewing of licorice root, scientifically named Glycyrrhiza uralensis. It is found that licorice root extract is effective against Helicobacter pylori too, a pathogen associated with development of gastric ulcer.
In another development, some researchers in Germany have found the effectiveness of lactobacillus, the bacteria present in yogurt in controlling streptococcus mutans in mouth. These streptococci are the pathogens causing dental decay by clumping on to teeth and producing acid, which breaks down the enamel of teeth. An experimental chewing gum containing lactobacillus was effective in controlling the growth of staphylococcus mutans. So, now on don’t wait, go and take a lollipop or chewing gum and relish the taste with added protection to your teeth and expect more such products in this line in London supermarkets.