Air Date: Week of December 15, 2000
Living On Earth’s Diane Toomey reports that the green horseradish you get with sushi may be good for your teeth.
TOOMEY: A little wasabi a day may keep the dentist away. Wasabi is that green horseradish served with sushi. And new research from Japan shows that compounds in the condiment inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause cavities, at least in a test tube. Researchers think wasabi interferes with the bacteria's ability to adhere to surfaces like teeth. Wasabi's bacteria-fighting ability may be the reason behind its traditional pairing with sushi, a food that often includes raw fish. The antimicrobial chemicals in wasabi are the same ones responsible for its pungent taste and odor. Other studies have shown that wasabi may also help prevent blood clots, and may have anti-asthma effects. That's this week's health update. I'm Diane Toomey.
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