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Mother's vitamin D levels can affect baby's dental health

Canadian researchers have identified a correlation between an expectant mother's vitamin D intake during pregnancy and her baby's dental health.

Vitamin D regulates calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood in two ways: by promoting their absorption from food in the intestines and the re-absorption of calcium in the kidneys.

Now, a research team from the University of Manitoba says that babies born to women who have low levels of vitamin D may have an increased risk of tooth enamel defects and early childhood caries.

Analyzing the vitamin D levels of 206 women in their second trimester of pregnancy, researchers found that only 21 had adequate vitamin D levels. They also evaluated 135 infants — determining that 21.6 percent had enamel defects and 33.6 percent had early childhood tooth decay.

In addition, the mothers of infants with enamel defects had lower vitamin D concentrations during pregnancy than mothers of infants without enamel defects. The mothers of infants with early childhood decay had significantly lower vitamin D levels than mothers of infants who were cavity free, and infants with enamel defects were significantly more likely to have early childhood tooth decay.

The researchers believe that vitamin D levels were related to the frequency of milk consumption and prenatal vitamin use.

©2010 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

7/21/2008

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