Effects of Ascophyllum Nodosum on halitosis, plaque and gingivitis. A controlled clinical trial in dogs.

Authors

Wikner S (1), Bonello D (2), Miolo A (3)

  1. SwedenCare AB, Umea (Sweden)
  2. Private practice, Turin (Italy)
  3. Science Documentation and Information Centre (CeDIS), Innovet Italia Srl , Saccolongo (Italy)

Abstract (200 words)

Sixty Beagle dogs were studied over a 88‐day period, in order to investigate the effect of the daily administration of a food supplement containing the brown seaweed Ascophyllum Nodosum (AN) on halitosis, plaque and gingivitis (bleeding). Subjects were divided in two groups. Dogs in the first group underwent professional periodontal prophylaxis before entering the study (“clean mouth” group); dogs in the second group did not (“dirty” mouth group). All dogs were fed a standard dry diet. Fifteen dogs in each group had the AN‐containing supplement (330 mg/10 kg b.w.) mixed with their food throughout the study. Halitosis was objectively measured by a specific instrument. Dental plaque and gingival bleeding were measured by means of specific colorimetric methods. Compared to the respective control dogs, the AN supplemented dogs showed no significant increase of halitosis, plaque or gingival bleeding scores both in “dirty” and “clean‐mouth” groups. Compared to the non treated dogs, AN‐supplemented dogs showed much smaller variations in both salivary and urinary pH values. No significant differences in serum and blood count parameters were observed between control and treated groups. These results suggest that the use of an AN‐containing food supplement was able to control halitosis, plaque and gingival inflammation.

 

DISCUSSION. This is the first study to show the beneficial effects of a food supplement containing the brown seaweed Ascophyllum Nodosum in controlling halitosis, plaque and gingival bleeding scores in dogs. Indeed, the long‐term daily administration of the studied supplement was able to slow the increase of halitosis, plaque and gingival inflammation (bleeding) scores during the 88‐day study period. Such increase, in fact, was statistically significant limited to the control dogs, i.e. dogs that were not supplemented with AN. These results are consistent with previous clinical studies, demonstrating the reduction of dental plaque and calculus in human subjects supplemented with high concentration of AN for eight weeks (Wikner S et al, unpublished results). A possible explanation of the effects of AN may rely on the specific biological activities of the brown seaweed active components. There is evidence that these substances (i.e.fucose‐containing sulphated polysaccharides, phenolic compounds) are absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract following oral administration, reach the salivary glands through the blood flow and concentrate in the saliva, where they exert a well‐known inhibitory effect on bacterial growth and colonization (9‐11). Such effect results in the inhibitory control of dental plaque deposition, plaque‐related bleeding and halitosis linked to microbial production of VSCs. The results on salivary and urinary pH in dogs treated with AN revealed a buffering capacity of the brown alga. This property is crucial for controlling oral calculus deposition from one side, and, from the other side, preventing pH‐related predisposition to struvite stones formation. Finally, the lack of differences in serum biochemistry and blood count between treated and control groups presents a strong evidence in favour of the safety profile of the studied food supplement. Taken together, the results reported herein provide useful indications for the use of the AN‐containing food supplement to perform an easy and high‐level daily oral care and control groups presents a strong evidence in favour of the safety profile of the studied food supplement. Taken together, the results reported herein provide useful indications for the use of the AN‐containing food supplement to perform an easy and high‐level daily oral care and control the progression of PDs and their related oral signs and symptoms in the dog.