Mouthwash use reduces the benefits of exercise

Researchers have found that the blood pressure-lowering effect of exercise is significantly reduced when people rinse their mouths with antibacterial mouthwash, rather than water – showing the importance of oral bacteria in cardiovascular health.

“Scientists already know that blood vessels open up during exercise, as the production of nitric oxide increases the diameter of the blood vessels (known as vasodilation), increasing blood flow circulation to active muscles,” said study lead author Raul Bescos, Professor at the University of Plymouth.

For the study, published in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 23 healthy adults were asked to run on a treadmill for a total of 30 minutes on two separate occasions, after which they were monitored for two hours.

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