New research recently published in the journal Microbiome now suggests that alcohol consumption "kills off many 'good' bacteria, and allows some potentially harmful bacteria to flourish in the mouth." The study found that "people who drank more had less abundant populations of Lactobacilli, so-called 'good' bacteria," and "drinkers also had more abundant populations of the more 'harmful' bacteria like Steptococcus, Actinomyces, Leptotrichia, Cardiobacterium and Neisseria." These changes "potentially contribute to alcohol-related diseases, including periodontal disease, head and neck cancer, and digestive tract cancers," as the researchers noted.
Although more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between alcohol consumption and the increased risk for dental disease, these new findings do suggest that it is beneficial to limit alcohol consumption. Additional funding has also recently been granted to study the micobiome relationship that may exist between other diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, some cancers, and even neurological disorders like Parkinson's disease and autism.
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