Naturally fresh breath thanks to the traditional medicinal plant ginger
Ginger is healthy. It is not for nothing that ginger was awarded the medicinal plant of 2018. Numerous studies prove the diverse medical fields of application. The medicinal plant relieves nausea, works against colds, prevents a feeling of fullness and has pain-relieving effects. Now a German team of researchers has proven that ginger effectively eliminates bad breath. An ingredient contained in ginger is supposed to stimulate saliva to break down malodorous substances.
A team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology recently carried out a study to examine the ginger contained in the ginger 6-gingerol and found that the ingredient stimulates a saliva enzyme, which in turn breaks down and smells malodorous substances in the mouth counteracts bad breath. The study results were recently published in the journal "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry".
Fresh breath and better aftertaste in a few seconds
As the researchers report, 6-gingerol not only ensures fresh breath, but also a better aftertaste in the mouth. The hot substance works so quickly that the refreshing effects appear after a few seconds. The researchers' breathing air analyzes carried out by the scientists showed that ginger also significantly attenuated the smell of many long-lasting tastes, such as that of drinking coffee.
An enzyme in the mouth is responsible for the freshness
The study team documented how the ginger 6-gingerol from the ginger stimulates the enzyme sulfhydryl oxidase 1 in saliva to increase 16-fold. This enzyme fights malodorous foci in the mouth and thus ensures a better taste in the mouth. "This also makes our breath smell better," says study director Professor Hofmann, director of the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at TUM. According to the professor, new oral care products could be developed from the mechanism discovered in the future.
Not only ginger was examined
The TUM team also examined other food ingredients for usable effects. "Many food ingredients directly contribute to the typical taste of food and beverages through their own taste, fragrance or sharpness," the experts explain in a press release on the study results. However, they would also indirectly have other, as yet largely unexplored, biochemical mechanisms that influence our taste perception.
Citric acid reduces salty taste
In addition to the ginger, the scientists also devoted themselves to the lemon. In further studies, the researchers found that citric acid has a completely different impact on our taste perception. According to the study, the acid stimulates saliva flow by about eleven times and thus also increases the amount of minerals dissolved in the saliva. This effect in turn means that salt is no longer perceived as strongly in food.
When salt no longer tastes salty
"Table salt is nothing more than sodium chloride, whereby sodium ions are responsible for the salt taste in humans," explains Professor Hofmann. If the saliva already contains a higher concentration of sodium ions, dishes would have to have a significantly higher salt content in order to be perceived as salty, according to the food expert.
There is a lot of new territory in taste research
Professor Hofmann points out a complex interplay between the taste-giving molecular systems in food, the biochemical processes that take place in saliva, and our taste sensation. There is still a great need for research in this area. With his research, he would like to create a new scientific basis for the production of food, the ingredients and functional profiles of which are geared to the health and sensory needs of consumers.
Superbubble of ginger
This study again shows the diverse positive effects of the ginger bulb, the healing power of which has been known in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. In addition to the newly discovered freshness effect, the multi-purpose ginger weapon can be used in many ways to promote health. For example, ginger is said to:
- Work against nausea and vomiting,
- often effective in the case of motion sickness,
- stimulate digestion,
- help reduce excess weight,
- help with feeling of fullness after eating lavishly,
- Relieve pain and inflammation,
- have antispasmodic and anti-tumor effects,
- support the healing process for colds and coughs,
- Reduce menstrual pain,
- help with back pain and migraines.