While an apple a day may keep the doctor away, a glass of lettuce juice could keep the dentist away as well. A team of researchers in Germany has found that daily nitrate consumption may be useful in controlling chronic gingivitis.
The researchers gathered 44 periodontal recall patients with chronic gingivitis and recorded their baseline gingival index (GI), plaque control record (PCR), and salivary nitrate level (SNL), followed by subgingival and supragingival debridement.
Next, the subjects received 100-mL bottles of a lettuce juice beverage to consume 3 times a day for 14 days. Twenty-three of the subjects got about 200 mg of nitrate each day for the test, and the other 21 got bottles devoid of nitrate for the placebo.
The mean GI, PCR, and SNL did not differ significantly between the groups at baseline. But at day 14, the mean GI of the test group was significantly lower than the baseline and the placebo group. The mean SNL also was significantly higher than the placebo group. The mean PCR did not change significantly in either group.
The study, “Stimulation of the Nitrate-Nitrite-NO-Metabolism by Repeated Lettuce Juice Consumption Decreases Ginginval Inflammation in Periodontal Recall Patients: A Randomized, Double Blinded, Placebo Controlled Clinical Trial,” was published by the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.