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Effect of Antibacterial Mouthwash on Basal Metabolic Rate in Humans: A Randomized, Double-blinded, Cross-over Study
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The use of mouthwash is a common complement to oral care. However, the physiological implication of this use, besides of effects on oral hygiene, is poorly known. The research of the gut micro flora and its implications on the host is a very active area of research today. Many important connections between the gut micro flora and obesity and diabetes have been found. These billions of bacteria are part of the immune system, they produce essential vitamins and they make inaccessible polysaccharides more digestible to the host, just to mention a few of their symbiotic roles for the host.

A less explored area is the micro flora in the oral cavity. On the back of the tongue, anaerobic bacteria can reduce dietary nitrate to nitrite which then further can be reduced to nitric oxide, NO. NO is important in several important biological functions, e.g. as a signal substance, vasoregulation, mucus production and antibacterial effects. Vegetables as beetroot and spinach are dietary sources with a high nitrate content. Also drinking water and processed meats can be of relevance. Nitrite is added to processed meat for the prevention of botulism but also adds taste and color.  

Experiments on humans indicate that mitochondrial efficiency increases after nitrate load, manifested as a decreased oxygen demand during physical exercise. This can also be relevant under conditions where the mitochondrial function is impaired, such as in diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

First a pilot study was made to evaluate the nitrate reducing effect from the antibacterial mouthwash. The mouthwash proved very effective. The concentrations of nitrate and nitrite in saliva was analyzed by HPLC and saliva from the antibacterial treatment showed greatly reduced concentrations of nitrite and high concentrations of nitrate. Saliva from placebo mouthwash showed high concentrations of nitrite and low concentrations of nitrate as expected.

To study the importance of oral bacteria on metabolism, we performed a randomized, cross-over double-blinded study with 19 healthy males between 22-43 years. During two separate three-day periods they used an antibacterial and placebo mouthwash, respectively. On the fourth day their basal metabolic rate (BMR) was measured with an indirect calorimetric system. Moreover, samples from saliva, urine and blood were collected but these results are not included in this thesis. An earlier, unpublished study has demonstrated that nitrate administration reduces the basal metabolic rate. Accordingly, our aim was to study potential effects on the basal metabolic rate following reduction of the number of oral bacteria by aid of antibacterial mouthwash. Our hypothesis was that the reduced availability of nitrite would decrease the availability of NO in the body and manifest as an increased basal metabolic rate.

The results from indirect calorimetry measurements showed no significant difference between placebo and antibacterial mouthwash, but there may be confounding factors. Further study is needed to assess the potential effects on host metabolism by these bacteria.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 22 p.
Keyword [en]
nitrate, nitrite, nitric oxide, basal metabolic rate, antibacterial mouthwash, mitochondrial efficiency
National Category
Chemical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-30774OAI: diva2:667822
Subject / course
Educational program
Nutrition and Food Science Programme, 180 credits
Available from: 2013-12-04 Created: 2013-11-27 Last updated: 2013-12-04Bibliographically approved

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