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Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2009 Aug;234(8):940-51. doi: 10.3181/0901-RM-22. Epub 2009 Jun 2.

Bacteria coated by polyphenols acquire potent oxidant-scavenging capacities.

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The Institute for Dental Sciences, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Hadassah Medical Center, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, P.O. Box 12065, Jerusalem 91120, Israel.


Several microbial species, including probiotic lactic acid bacteria, have the ability to irreversibly bind a large variety of polyphenols (flavonoids) and anthocyanidins found in many colored fruits and vegetables and to enhance their total oxidant-scavenging capacities (TOSC). The binding of flavonoids to microbial surfaces was further increased by the cationic polyelectrolytes ligands poly-L-histidine, chlorhexidine and Copaxone. This phenomenon was confirmed visually, by the FRAP, DPPH, cyclic voltammetry, Folin-Ciocalteu as well as by luminol-dependent chemiluminescence techniques employed to assay TOSC. The possibility is considered that clinically, microbial cells in the oral cavity and in the gastro intestinal tract, complexed with antioxidant polyphenols from nutrients and with cationic ligands, might increase the protection of mammalian cells against damage induced by excessive generation of reactive oxygen species during infections and inflammation.

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