It seems like a new study comes out every month or so touting the miraculous, bad breath-fighting power of some herb, oil, fruit or even candy. It’s hard to take these too seriously, even though many appear in the industry’s leading publication, the Journal of Breath Research. The most recent oddity to grace the pages of that storied journal is a study alleging that two compounds in licorice eliminate halitosis.
While this may technically be correct, in real-world practice it probably won’t amount to much. Here’s why.
The study itself
Researchers from Quebec’s Laval University conducted an investigation to determine whether concentrated Chinese licorice extracts can be used to fight bad breath. Specifically, the team tried to find out whether (a) the extract’s compounds ward off bacterial growth, and (b) if this stuff can also neutralize volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs), the molecules that make your mouth funky.