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Vitamin D Can Have a Positive Impact on Cavities

I’ve taken this blog post from an email I recieved about Vitamin D and the effect it can have on Cavities. This is an excerpt from that email:

Study: Vitamin D has positive impact on caries rates
By Kathy Kincade, Editor in Chief

Research has shown a positive link between vitamin D and oral and systemic health, the IOM noted; however, these studies have yielded “conflicting and mixed results and do not offer the evidence needed to confirm that vitamin D has these effects.”

Now a new systematic review, conducted by Philippe Hujoel, PhD, DDS, MSD, MS, of the University of Washington School of Dentistry and School of Public Health, points to a positive association between vitamin D and lower rates of dental caries (Nutrition Reviews, November 9, 2012).

Vitamin D was first discovered in the early 1920s, and at least 20 prospective clinical studies evaluating its impact on dental caries were initiated in Europe, North America, and Asia over the next two decades, according to Dr. Hujoel. However, professional and governmental groups varied widely in their interpretation of the scientific evidence.

For example, the American Medical Association and the U.S. National Research Council concluded around 1950 that vitamin D was beneficial in managing dental caries, but the ADA said otherwise — based on the same evidence.

For the Nutrition Reviews study, Dr. Hujoel analyzed 24 controlled clinical trials (CCTs) that met the inclusion criteria. The CCT quality was quantified using a 21-item questionnaire and content-specific measures such as method of treatment assignment, setting, clinician blinding, use of placebo, commercial funding source, and study duration.

The 24 CCTs included in the study spanned the 1920s to the 1980s and were conducted in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Austria, New Zealand, and Sweden in institutional settings, schools, medical and dental practices, or hospitals. All told, the CCTs encompassed nearly 3,000 participants between the ages of 2 and 16 years.

The trials increased vitamin D levels in these children through the use of supplemental ultraviolet (UV) radiation or by supplementing the children’s diet with cod liver oil or other products containing the vitamin.

These trials showed that vitamin D was associated with a 47% reduction in the incidence of tooth decay, he noted. No robust differences could be identified between the caries-preventive effects of UV therapy and nutritional supplementation with either vitamin D2 or vitamin D3. “The analysis of CCT data identified vitamin D as a promising caries-preventive agent, leading to a low-certainty conclusion that vitamin D in childhood may reduce the incidence of caries,” Dr. Hujoel concluded.

I hope you are all enjoying your week!

Richard Stickney DDS PS

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