Researchers out of New Zealand are currently conducting a study to determine the effects of vitamin D supplementation on reducing tooth decay in young children.
The study is one of two studies, both funded by CureKids, which were announced yesterday for World Oral Health Day. The other study will look at an experimental method for treating tooth decay and cavities.
The role of vitamin D in dental health was first explored in the 1930’s and 1940’s when researchers noticed that high vitamin D intake and UVB exposure led to healthier tooth development and reduced cavities.
Researchers, in this current study, hope that their trial will confirm these early findings, using higher quality methods we have available today that we didn’t have access to back then. Their trial began in 2010 when a group of pregnant women and then their children, were given a low dose of vitamin D, a high dose of vitamin D, or a placebo. The women were supplemented from 27 weeks into pregnancy up until birth, and the children were supplemented from birth to when they were 6 months old.
Now that the 260 children are about 2 years old, the researchers will examine the effect that early life vitamin D supplementation has had on tooth health and development.
“At the moment we don’t recommend [vitamin D] routinely during pregnancy or infancy,” said lead researcher Professor Cameron Grant. “A number of other countries do, and we just need to understand whether that is something required in New Zealand as well.”