Oregon Company Releases New Antibacterial Candy That Combats Caries

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HealthyGrid, a Portland based start-up, recently announced the release of Loloz, a xylitol-free, anti-cavity lollipop and lozenge found to inhibit the bacteria that cause dental caries.

Can candy help fight cavities? HealthyGrid, a Portland based start-up, recently announced the release of Loloz, a xylitol-free, anti-cavity lollipop and lozenge found to inhibit the bacteria that cause dental caries. The active ingredient in Loloz was discovered after years of trials and research at the UCLA School of Dentistry’s Section of Oral Biology.

After performed over 50,000 trials on over 1,000 different ancient Chinese herbs, microbiologists at UCLA discovered a specific herbal compound that killed the Streptococcus mutans, Sobrinus, and Lactobacilli bacteria that lead to dental caries. The active ingredient, branded by Healthy Grid as Cavibloc, contains a pure form of Glycyrrhiza uralensis that, when extracted from a particular variety of licorice root, effectively targets and destroys the cavity-causing bacteria found in oral environments.

The initial studies are promising. UCLA lab tests show that a 5 min incubation of the active ingredient from one Loloz candy (equal to holding the candy in-mouth for 5 min) will kill 99.9% of S. mutans in human saliva. This degree of cleansing occurs whether the level of S. mutans is a few hundred cells per milliliter of saliva (in healthy people) or several million cells per milliliter of saliva (in diseased people). It was this time constraint that lead to the selection of lollipops and lozenges as the best delivery devices.

The result is a treatment protocol of two Loloz lollipops (or lozenges) for 10 consecutive days, two to four times per year. Each box contains one treatment protocol, which when properly consumed has the antibacterial power to protect the user from cavities for up to 6 months (He et al. 2006).

Other studies have demonstrated the efficacy of cavity-fighting lollipops using children as subjects. Sixty percent of children between the ages of 5 and 17 have at least one decaying, filled, or lost tooth. Additionally, the prevalence of dental caries increases for children living in poverty. University of Michigan researchers observed the effects of lollipops containing G. uralensis on a group of children that included three levels of risk for caries: high, medium, and low. Each child consumed two of the lollipops per day for 21 days. Regular saliva samples were taken to monitor S. mutans levels in each child. Initially it was determined that the greatest decrease in S. mutans was experienced by the children determined to be most at risk. By the end of the survey it was determined that the high-risk children had achieved S. mutans levels comparable to those of the children considered to be of moderate risk. Additionally, the samples revealed that the decrease in S. mutans bacteria continued for 22 days after the protocol ended demonstrating that the lollipops continue to work after the treatment period ends. This particular study called for randomized clinical trials, noting that the potential efficacy of lollipops with licorice extract has been demonstrated (Peters et al. 2010).

Another study using children as subjects examined the efficacy of herbal lollipops on the S. mutans and Lactobacilli levels as well as the caries process on children with asthma. Researchers from the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Pediatric Dentistry Post-Graduate Program noted that asthma and dental caries are two common chronic childhood medical problems. They cited studies demonstrating a sound connection between the two since asthma inhalers are often associated with increased dental caries. They then cited a study in which the inhalers cause a 26-36% decrease in saliva for children using inhalers and another study in which children using the inhalers suffered a higher rate of dental caries. Subjects in this study were given two lollipops per day for 10 days. That regimen was then repeated 90 days later. Results were not statistically significant but demonstrated that the herbal lollipops decreased the targeted bacteria. Researchers called for additional studies in more controlled environments (Johnson et al. 2011).

A study involving senior citizens as the subjects demonstrated a similar trend with the reduction of S. mutans. Doctors from the UCLA School of Dentistry’s Program in Geriatric Dentistry conducted a study of nursing home residents using the lollipops. Noting that nursing home staff often have little or no oral care training and that many residents are unable to perform the care themselves, the researchers hypothesized that the lollipops would reduce caries among nursing home residents. Participants used the lollipops for three weeks and their saliva was tested for bacteria levels. Results demonstrated a decrease in S. mutans levels for the subjects who consumed the lollipops consistently (Mentes et al. 2012).

While Loloz are currently available exclusively online, dentists can qualify their practices to receive wholesale pricing at http://www.healthygrid.com/wholesale. Additional information and studies about the efficacy of Loloz anti-cavity lollipops can be found by visiting http://www.loloz.com.

He J, Chen L, Heber D, Shi W, Lu Q. 2006. Antibacterial compounds from Glycyrrhiza uralensis. Journal of Natural Products 69(1):121-123.

Johnson E, Cook A, Hamilton S, Salama F, Lancaster B, Finken D, Lange B, Marx D. 2011. Effects of herbal lollipops on Streptococcus mutans levels, Lactobacilli levels and the dental caries experience of children with asthma taking beta2-andrenergic drugs. Omaha: University of Nebraska.

Mentes J, Kang S, Spackman S, Bauer J. 2012. Can a licorice lollipop decrease cariogenic bacteria in nursing home residents? Research in Gerontological Nursing 5(4) 233-237.

Peters MC, Tallman JA, Braun TM, Jacobson JJ. Clinical reduction of S mutans in pre-school children using a novel licorice root extract lollipop: a pilot study. European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry     11(6):274-278.

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