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Two Grapefruit Daily Helps Gum Disease - Benefits of Vitamin C

December 29th 2005

Two Grapefruit Daily Helps Gum Disease - Benefits of Vitamin C

Gum Disease

If you can get past the strong taste of grapefruit you may benefit by eating them, according to a study published in the British Dental Journal.  Researchers at the Friedrich Schiller University in Germany found that the antioxidant effect of just two grapefruit per day appears to increase healing of bleeding gums. 

Now add this to the weight loss benefits of grapefruit and we have multiple benefits to the sour or sweet fruit.  Usually the lighter grapefruit is sour and the more red the fruit is, the sweeter.  The researchers did not indicate which is better. 

There were 58 people involved in the study of which there were both smokers and non-smokers.  They were divided in to two groups.  The first group ate two grapefruit per day and the other did not. 


After just four days they found that the non-smokers that ate the grapefruit elevated their vitamin C blood levels by 50 percent.  The smokers that ate grapefruit nearly doubled their vitamin C levels. 

"Most people have a small amount of gum disease, much of which is reversible. But a significant amount have intractable gum disease, which is the biggest cause of loss of teeth in adults. This is a small-scale, short-term study but it reinforces the message that if you have enough vitamin C in your diet then it tends to promote healing," BBC quoted Dr Gordon Watkins, a scientific advisor to the British Dental Association. 

Since the body can not store excess vitamin C very well it is important to eat vitamin C rich foods daily.  Grapefruit is a great source of vitamin C since each fruit contains approximately 92.5 mg.  The participants were advised not to brush their teeth immediately after eating the grapefruit according to Asian News International.


The researchers believe the healing effects are tied to the increase in vitamin C blood levels, according to the myDNA website.  Vitamin C may promote wound healing and reduce damage caused by free radical molecules.

Gum disease is the primary reason for tooth loss. The study is especially important for smokers because they average 29% less vitamin C than non-smokers.  This could be because smokers have “potential mechanisms” that affect the way they metabolize vitamin C. Smokers may also have a less healthful diet.   

This was a short duration study lasting just two weeks.  More research is needed, but it is likely the more vitamin C a person eats the less likely they will have gum disease.  Currently it is recommended that men consume 90 mg of vitamin C daily and women ingest 75 mg.  Smokers should add an extra 35 mg.  The famous scientist Linus Pauling recommended mega doses of 200 – 300 mg or more per day.  According to Stephen Barrett MD, Linus Pauling took 12,000 mg of vitamin C daily.  Unlike some nutrients, there does not appear to be negative side effects from eating too much vitamin C. 

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By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:41 PM