Effectiveness of Tongue cleaning as a component of Oral care on the fasting Plasma Desacyl Ghrelin concentration in very elderly individuals: Six-Week Randomized controlled trial

Author(s): Kazuo Sonoki, Maya Izumi, Yuko Ohta, Masayo Fukuhara, Masaharu Nagata, Sumio Akifusa

To investigate whether tongue cleaning as a component of oral care affects the fasting plasma desacyl ghrelin concentrations in elderly people with the peak expiratory flow (PEF) as the measure of coughing ability. This randomized controlled trial was conducted in Kitakyushu, Japan from July 2017 to November 2018. We randomly assigned 52 enrolled Japanese subjects from three nursing care facilities to a routine oral care group (control group) and an oral care with twice-daily tongue cleaning group (intervention group). Before and after 6 weeks of each version of oral care, the PEF of each subject was measured and blood was collected. A final total of 48 subjects (39 females, 9 males, mean ± SD age 88.4 ± 7.5 years) was analyzed. The PEF increased significantly in the intervention group (1.62 ± 0.89 L/s to 2.07 ± 1.09 L/s) but not in the control group (1.76 ± 1.05 L/s to 1.53 ± 0.67 L/s). The fasting plasma desacyl ghrelin concentrations in the intervention group did not change significantly (181 ± 102 fmol/mL to 175 ± 98 fmol/mL) whereas those in the control group decreased significantly (168 ± 114 fmol/mL to 142 ± 72 fmol/mL). The change of the plasma desacyl ghrelin concentration was significantly correlated with the change in albumin (correlation coefficient = 0.292, p<0.05), but not with that in PEF. Tongue cleaning accompanied by improved coughing ability seemed to help prevent the decrease in the fasting plasma desacyl ghrelin concentration in very elderly individuals.

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