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Children Born to Women with Low Levels of Vitamin D during Pregnancy Are More Likely to Have Cavities in Their Baby Teeth

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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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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