Pregnant women with low levels of vitamin D circulating in their bloodstreams are more likely to have children who develop cavities in their baby teeth. Researchers took blood samples from 207 Canadian women during their pregnancies. When their infants were just over a year old, they were given dental exams.

Roughly one fourth of the 135 youngsters in the study had cavities. (Not all the women could be traced a year later.)

Mothers with the lowest levels of vitamin D were most likely to have babies with cavities. The scientists suggest that preventing vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy could pay off with healthier teeth for the offspring, though experts do not agree on whether supplements or sun exposure is better for getting adequate vitamin D. For the low-income women in this study, supplements might well be more practical than sun exposure during the winter in Canada.

[Pediatrics, online April 21, 2014]

Readers who would like more information on sources of vitamin D may be interested in our 8-page Guide to Vitamin D Deficiency.

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