A new study by a group of NYU researchers that was recently published in the journal Microbiome, draws concerning correlations between alcohol consumption and the health of the bacteria found in your mouth. Yes, drinking can give you bad breath, but if this reports findings are true, it can do a lot more than that.
This NYU team analyzed two large surveys of health in which the participants outlined their drinking habits and provided samples from their mouths for analysis. In total, researchers were able to gather this data on over 1,000 people–including 270 nondrinkers, 614 moderate drinkers and 160 heavy drinkers.
What these researchers found is that drinking actively affects the bacteria that is found in your mouth. By throwing off the mouths microbiome, people who drank found themselves at a significantly higher risk for a host of diseases, including cancer.
People who drank often had measurably smaller populations of Lactobacilli, or “good bacteria” in their mouths. These people also had healthier populations of Streptococcus, Actinomyces, Leptotrichia, Cardiobacterium, and Neisseria in their mouths, all of which are considered potentially harmful.
Now, it is worth noting that this was an observational trial, which means researchers are not able to use it to definitively establish cause and effect. While this research does show that drinking affects the microbiome of your mouth, it’s not clear whether drinking is simply killing off certain bacterias, or actually encouraging the production of bad bacteria.
“A trial where moderate or heavy drinkers were randomized to continue or stop drinking for a long enough time to influence the oral microbiome could provide more definitive information,” said the researchers.
There are a lot of studies out there about alcohol, and there is a lot left for us to learn. For now, it seems like a good idea to drink in moderation and take care of your body when you do. That’s why we always recommend keeping a packet or two of Intelligent Drinking’s LAUNCH on hand for the nights you do indulge. Visit www.intelligentdrinking.com to learn more.