Contrary to popular belief, eating chocolates could prevent tooth cavities. Researchers at Osaka University in Japan have found that the cocoa bean -- the main ingredient of chocolate -- kills the mouth bacteria. Tooth cavities start when the Streptococcus mutans bacteria produce a sticky molecule called glucan. This helps the bacteria anchor themselves to teeth and form plaque. These bacteria in plaque convert sugars to acids, which eat the tooth's surface and lead to cavities. The anti-bacterial agents in cocoa beans offset its high sugar levels ( Archives of Oral Biology , Vol 45, p639).
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