(NaturalNews) With less time spent outdoors and the constant use of sunscreen by many, vitamin D levels are decreasing in many populations. Meanwhile, the number of cavities in children's teeth has gone up. Is there a connection? A new review of multiple studies of dental caries, or tooth decay, and vitamin D indicates the answer is yes. In fact, studies of kids in many countries link vitamin D intake to a whopping 50 percent reduction in cavities.
The review, just published in the journal Nutrition Reviews, covers 24 controlled clinical trials involving about 3,000 kids and spans the years from the 1920s to the 1980s. The trials studied increased vitamin D levels in children by using supplemental UV radiation or by supplementing the children's diets with cod-liver oil or vitamin D supplements. "My main goal was to summarize the clinical trial database so that we could take a fresh look at this vitamin D question," Dr. Philippe Hujoel of the University of Washington, who conducted the review, said in a media statement.
This is not the first time vitamin D was thought to stop cavities. Back in 1950, the American Medical Association and the U.S. National Research Council concluded vitamin D was beneficial in reducing dental caries. However, the American Dental Association (the powerful professional and lobbying group of dentists) fought this conclusion and the information about vitamin D reducing cavities basically disappeared -- while dentists aggressively promoted expensive fluoride treatments and continued to drill teeth and fill more and more cavities .
"Such inconsistent conclusions by different organizations do not make much sense from an evidence-based perspective," Hujoel stated.
Hujoel's findings may not make some dentists happy but medical professionals and scientists who are familiar with past vitamin D studies aren't surprised. Dr. Michael Hollick, professor of medicine at the Boston University Medical Center, said in a press statement that "the findings from the University of Washington reaffirm the importance of vitamin D for dental health..children who are vitamin D deficient have poor and delayed teeth eruption and are prone to dental caries."
Dr. Hujoel's take away message from his review is this advice for pregnant women or young mothers: realize that vitamin D is essential to your offspring's health. "Vitamin D does lead to teeth and bones that are better mineralized," he concluded.
As Natural News has covered extensively, vitamin D deficiency may well be a huge factor in many diseases and conditions that have increased over the years as sunlight exposure has decreased. For example, studies have linked a lack of the vitamin to breast cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease risk.
About the author: Sherry Baker is a widely published writer whose work has appeared in Newsweek, Health, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Yoga Journal, Optometry, Atlanta, Arthritis Today, Natural Healing Newsletter, OMNI, UCLA''''s "Healthy Years" newsletter, Mount Sinai School of Medicine''''s "Focus on Health Aging" newsletter, the Cleveland Clinic''''s "Men''''s Health Advisor" newsletter and many others.