Mouthwash Use Could Inhibit Benefits of Exercise

Jill Murphy, Assistant Editor
Published Online: Wednesday, September 11th, 2019
Scientists have shown through a new study that the blood-pressure lowering effect of exercise is significantly reduced when people rinse their mouths with anti-bacterial mouthwash rather than water. This further supports the importance of oral bacteria in cardiovascular health.

The study was led by the University of Plymouth in collaboration with the Centre of Genomic Regulation in Barcelona, Spain, and was published in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine.

23 healthy adults were asked to run on a treadmill for 30 minutes on two separate occasions, followed by being monitored for two hours. On both occasions, at one, 30, 60, and 90 minutes after exercise, they were told to rinse their mouths with a liquid-- either antibacterial mouthwash or a placebo of mint-flavored water. Neither the researchers nor the participants knew which liquid they were rinsing with.

After this, their blood pressure was measured, and saliva and blood samples were taken before exercise and 120 minutes after exercise. No food or drink (except water) was allowed during exercise and the recovery period.

The results demonstrated that the average reduction in systolic blood pressure was -5.2 mmHg at one hour after exercise when participants rinsed with the placebo. Meanwhile, when participants rinsed with the antibacterial mouthwash, the average systolic blood pressure was -2.0 mmHg at the same time point.

Researchers could conclude that the blood pressure-lowering effect of exercise was diminished by more than 60% over the first hour of recovery, and totally abolished two hours after exercise when participants were given the antibacterial mouthwash.

Craig Cutler, the study co-author who conducted this research as a part of his PhD at the University of Plymouth, shared that "The next step is to investigate in more detail the effect of exercise on the activity of oral bacteria and the composition of oral bacteria in individuals under high cardiovascular risk. Long-term, research in this area may improve our knowledge for treating hypertension -- or high blood pressure -- more efficiently."
Reference
Mouthwash use could inhibit benefits of exercise. Science Daily website. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190903111242.htm. Published September 3, 2019. Accessed September 6, 2019.



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