Vitamin D May Prevent Gum Disease

Vitamin D May Prevent Gum Disease

It turns out that people who have the highest blood levels of vitamin D are 20 percent less likely to suffer from gingivitis, a milder form of gum disease in which the gums become swollen and bleed easily, reports Reuters Health.

Led by Dr. Thomas Dietrich, the team of researchers at Boston University's Goldman School of Dental Medicine analyzed data on 6,700 U.S. adults who were part of a federal study between 1988 and 1994. The participants were divided into five groups based on their blood levels of vitamin D. Those who had the highest levels were the least likely to show signs of gingivitis, compared with those who had the lowest levels--even after accounting for such factors as age and income.

Reuters notes that in addition to its role in calcium absorption and bone health, vitamin D also helps maintain a healthy immune system and may fight inflammation. That anti-inflammatory benefit helps explain why vitamin D may ward off gingivitis, which occurs when bacteria build up between the teeth and gums. The study findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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