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Bad Breath = A Good Thing

We usually don’t associate bad breath with good health. But researchers in Japan have recently made a very interesting discovery. Apparently, the conditions which need to exist in the mouth in order to cause bad breath are an ideal incubator for cultivating hepatic (liver) cells.

According to recently released research, stem cells harvested from human dental pulp (the material that is inside the teeth, beneath the enamel) are able to become liver cells at an astonishing rate when incubated with hydrogen sulphide, the chemical compound responsible for bad breath.

Stem cell therapy treats damaged tissue by introducing new cells, but it can sometimes be difficult to safely and effectively produce them. Study author Dr. Ken Yagaeki and his team at Nippon Dental University believe the use of stem cells from dental pulp could eventually replace existing methods of stem cell production, two of which use human bone marrow and fetal bovine serum as source material. In fact, Yagaeki went out on a limb to show that dental pulp is a viable source of stem cells.

Although his colleagues were skeptical at first about the number of stem cells Yagaeki believed to be in the dental pulp, after intense research on the matter, he was able to report that 60-80 percent of human dental pulp cells are stem cells, up markedly from the previous estimate of 1 percent. This finding could have a far-reaching impact on many diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and even help those with spinal cord injuries.

Who knew even bad breath could have a happy ending?


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