2018 Volume 60 Issue 3 Pages 405-410
Dietary nitrate has several beneficial effects, including blood pressure reduction and improved oxygen consumption efficiency, but in order to do so it must first be reduced to nitrite by oral bacteria. Veillonella spp., a strictly anaerobic group, are the most prevalent nitrate-reducing bacteria in the oral cavity. In response to some early studies that have hinted at inter- and intra-individual variation in salivary nitrate-nitrite conversion capacity, the purpose of the present study was to investigate the incidence of and variation in the Veillonella species V. atypica, V. dispar, and V. rogosae by direct PCR and to assess salivary nitrate-nitrite conversion capacity and its reproducibility after dietary nitrate consumption in 24 elderly individuals. V. atypica, V. dispar, and V. rogosae were detected in 10 (41.7%), 24 (100%), and 14 (58.3%) participants, respectively. The coefficients of correlation between the first and second experiments on increased nitrate/nitrite were 0.637 and 0.583, respectively, both of which were statistically significant (P < 0.01). In both experiments, 6 participants produced relatively low levels of nitrite (<0.5 mM Δ nitrite) while 7 produced relatively high levels (>1.0 mM Δ nitrite). The data suggested that V. dispar was the most prevalent species, being present even in individuals producing low levels of salivary nitrite.