Vitamin D Reduces Risk of Cavities

Vitamin D

Image courtesy of Washington State University

Among nutritionists, the role of vitamin D has been a little controversial. However, new research has found that vitamin D is important for maintaining good dental health. A research team from the University of Washington reviewed 24 clinical studies performed by health institutions in the US, UK, Canada, Austria, New Zealand, and Sweden between the 1920s and 1980s. The studies surveyed around 3,000 children between ages 2 to 16.

They found that children with increased vitamin D levels had a reduced risk of developing cavities by 50 percent.

“The findings from the University of Washington reaffirm the importance of vitamin D for dental health,” said Dr. Michael Holick, professor of medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine. “Children who are vitamin D deficient have poor and delayed teeth eruption and are prone to dental caries.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have always acknowledged that vitamin D helps prevent osteoporosis and reduce the risk of some cancers, but they have also cautioned that vitamin D in excess is possibly toxic. This shouldn’t be a surprise, as it has also been proven that an excessive intake of water, something every body needs every day, is also toxic.

Your body primarily synthesizes vitamin D from exposure to the sun, but it’s also found in a few foods. Small amounts of vitamin D can be found in fatty fish (salmon and tuna), avocados, beef liver, cheese, mushrooms, and egg yolks. Vitamin D is typically artificially added to milk, breakfast cereals, orange juice, yogurt, and margarine as well.

So what’s the best way to get the safe dose of vitamin D to help your oral health? Go outside for at least an hour a day if possible, and try to eat moderate amounts of fish, cheese, avocados, etc. The key is moderate.

This research will be published in the December issue of the Nutrition Reviews journal.

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