Scientists in Japan have suggested that wasabi can help to prevent tooth decay.
Wasabi is a pungent plant from the Cruciferous family, which is often served in Japanese restaurants as an accompaniment to sushi. The study found that a chemical compound, known as isothiocyanates, which is found in wasabi, helps to prevent decay. The compound inhibits the growth of Streptococcus bacteria, which are the form of bacteria that cause decay.
Previous studies have found that isothiocyanates have other health benefits, including the prevention of blood clots and benefits for asthma sufferers. There have also been suggestions that the compound can help to prevent cancer.
Scientists involved in the study are now encouraging people to eat wasabi two to three times per week to reduce the risk of developing cavities.