Quinoa husks found to be an effective treatment for bad breath
08/09/2019 // Melissa Smith // Views

Nobody wants to have halitosis or bad breath. Fortunately, there are natural treatments for this embarrassing condition, and one of them might be sitting on your plate right now.

Quinoa saponins vs. halitosis bacteria

About 25 percent of people around the world have bad breath, and it is commonly caused by poor oral hygiene. When you eat, bits of food can get stuck in your teeth, which become the perfect environment for bacteria to grow in. These bacteria break down the food bits, which then produce sulfur compounds that cause a foul smell.

In a study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers found that quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) husks contain saponins that can protect against bacteria that cause bad breath.

Quinoa is a staple food in South America and its husk contains a higher saponin content than grains. Saponin is considered the most significant anti-nutritional component in quinoa seeds. Saponin derived from quinoa husks is shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory and antifungal activity. The researchers of the current study aimed to explore the antibacterial effects of quinoa saponins against halitosis bacteria.

A team of researchers from Qilu University of Technology and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in China looked at the antibacterial effects of quinoa saponins against the following bacterial strains: Porphyromonas gingivalis, Clostridium perfringens, and Fusobacterium nucleatum. The research team used alkali transformation for quinoa saponins to improve their antifungal and molluscicidal activities.


The results revealed that quinoa saponins exhibited a strong inhibitory activity against the bacterial strains, especially F. nucleatum. Treatment with quinoa saponins also destroyed the membrane structure of the bacteria, which led to their death.

With these findings, the research team concluded that quinoa saponins may be an effective antibacterial agent in natural treatments for halitosis. (Related: Health benefits of quinoa and tasty gluten-free breakfast recipe.)

Natural ways of preventing bad breath

While the research on halitosis-fighting quinoa saponins is still new, here are some foods that can prevent and reverse the mortifying effects of bad breath.

  • Fennel and anise seeds: Fennel and anise seeds are traditionally used as mouth fresheners, particularly to cleanse after-dinner breath. They have a sweet taste and contain aromatic essential oils that can freshen your breath. You can eat these seeds on their own, or you can enjoy them roasted or coated with sugar.
  • Green tea: Drinking green tea is an effective remedy for bad breath, according to a study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology. Green tea has disinfectant and deodorizing properties that can temporarily freshen your breath. You can add some mint leaves to your green tea to boost its effect.
  • Orange: Eating oranges can improve the smell of your breath thanks to their vitamin C content. The vitamin increases the production of saliva, which can wash away foul-smelling bacteria and eliminate bad breath.
  • Parsley: Parsley is a popular remedy for bad breath because of its fresh scent and high chlorophyll content, which provides an effective deodorizing effect. To improve the smell of your breath, chew some fresh parsley leaves after every meal.
  • Yogurt: Yogurt can reduce bad breath because of its Lactobacillus content. These are beneficial bacteria that help fight bad bacteria in different parts of the body, including your mouth. A study conducted by researchers from Tsurumi University in Japan found that eating yogurt for six weeks can reduce bad breath.
  • Zinc: This nutrient can reduce the number of sulfur compounds produced by bacteria in your mouth, which gives your breath a foul odor. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology showed that regular rinsing with a solution containing zinc can reduce bad breath for at least six months.

Interested in other oral health problems and how to treat them naturally? Head over to Dentistry.news to learn more.

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