Vitamin D Newsletter

Newsletter

Cavities

George from Utah writes:

Dr. Cannell: I read somewhere that cavities in children are a sign of vitamin D deficiency. Is that true?

Dr. Cannell replies:

Several months after your child begins taking adequate doses of vitamin D, cavities will stop forming.

Yes, it is true. Several months after your child begins taking adequate doses of vitamin D, cavities will stop forming. Actually, Professor McBeath did a placebo-controlled trial (PDF format) in New York City orphanages in 1934 of 425 children. The children received either no vitamin D or 330, 465, or about 1,000 IU (the paper uses Steenbock units, one Steenbock unit is 3.3 IU) of vitamin D a day as cod liver oil. Also, remember, cod liver oil in the 1930s had much more vitamin D, and perhaps less vitamin A, than modern cod liver oil. McBeath said he conducted this study because several earlier studies showed ultraviolet irradiation gave "striking results" in stopping cavity formation. McBeath's results were quite amazing in preventing new cavities. Like the paper on acne above, you can read the entire study yourself. Remember that 1,000 IU of vitamin D is not enough for many children to obtain levels of 50 ng/mL, however, this study showed that even 1,000 IU virtually stopped new caries from developing.

Page last edited: 09 August 2010