In this study we investigated the compounds occurring in Cichorium intybus var. silvestre (red chicory) in order to verify their potential contribution to the capability of the low molecular mass (LMM) extract components1 to inhibit virulence-linked properties of oral pathogens, such as Streptococcus mutans, Actinomyces naeslundii and Prevotella intermedia2-7. The obtained results showed that in C. intybus a number of LMM active components occur able to interfere with growth and virulence traits of oral pathogens responsible for gengivitis and tooth decay. Among these we focused our attention on oxalic, succinic, shikimic and quinic acids identified using HPLC-DAD-ESI-MS/MS. Overall, succinic acid and quinic acid seem to posses the highest potential as regards anti-caries and anti-gingivitis activity. Since their activity in vitro is mainly directed towards biofilm formation and disruption, it is likely that, in vivo, they might interfere with plaque formation that is a prerequisite for both caries and gingivitis development. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) under the contract FOOD-CT-2006-036210 (Project NUTRIDENT).
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