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The dental caries inhibiting effect of the extract from Japanese green tea, one of the most popular drinks in Japan, was studied both in vitro and in vivo. The crude tea polyphenolic compounds (designated Sunphenon) from the leaf of Camellia sinensis were found to effectively inhibit the attachment of Streptococcus mutans strain JC-2 (serotype c) to saliva-coated hydroxyapatide discs. Sunphenon was also inhibitory to water-insoluble glucan formation from sucrose by crude glucosyltransferase of S. mutans JC-2 (c). Among the tea catechins tested, (-)-epigallocatechin gallate and (-)-epicatechin gallate showed the most potent inhibition of the glucosyltransferase activity. Finally, significantly lower caries scores were observed in specific pathogen free rats infected with S. mutans JC-2 (c) and fed a cariogenic diet and/or drinking water containing 0.05% Sunphenon as compared with control rats not receiving polyphenolic compounds.Otake S, Makimura M, Kuroki T, et al. Anticaries effects of polyphenolic compounds from Japanese green tea. Caries Res 25:438-443; 1991.