Vitamin D for Preventing Tooth Decay

Vitamin D for Preventing Tooth Decay

Vitamin D has been associated with a variety of health benefits, including a reduced incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and immune disorders. According to an in-depth analysis of existing studies, vitamin D may also be able to reduce the incidence of tooth decay.

This study, which was published in Nutrition Reviews, examined more than 20 controlled clinical trials that were performed between 1920 and 1980. More than 3,000 children from around the world were involved. Researchers determined that as many as half of the children could have enjoyed improved dental health with adequate supplies of vitamin D.

Vitamin D has long been associated with bone health. It works hand-in-hand with calcium to strengthen and harden teeth and bones. However, the association between vitamin D and dental caries is less understood. Researchers noted that children with low levels of vitamin D are more likely to experience delayed tooth eruption and be more susceptible to tooth decay.

Although the exact connection has not yet been determined, vitamin D is clearly beneficial to our health. Get more in your diet or your child's diet by drinking or serving fortified milk, almond milk or soy milk. Vitamin D can also be found in some juices and other fortified products. Our bodies can make vitamin D as well. Direct sun exposure on unprotected skin several days a week can help us make the vitamin D we need. People with fair skin tend to need less time outside while those who are tan or have darker skin need 15 to 20 minutes of sun at a time. People with extremely dark skin may need several times that amount and may even need supplementation.

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