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Pregnancy calcium supplementation protects child teeth

Wednesday October 13th, 2010

Giving pregnant women calcium supplements can protect against their infants developing dental decay, researchers claimed yesterday.

A 12-year study in Argentina has found that of the children whose mothers were given calcium supplements when pregnant had reduced their chances of developing dental cavies by 27 per cent.

The study, whose findings are published in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, was led by Dr Luz Gibbons of the Institute for Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy in Buenos Aires.

Researchers began their trial in 1991 when 195 mothers-to-be were randomly grouped and given either calcium supplements or a placebo. The original study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1991 and was done to assess the effect of calcium for preventing high blood pressure disorders in pregnancy.

A cohort of the children was now been followed until they reached 12 years of age.

Dr Gibbons said maternal calcium intake during pregnancy could imply an effect on foetal dentition that is prolonged during childhood and gives some lasting protection.

“Teeth mineralisation starts during foetal life and this could be a kind of positive foetal programming that carries on through life,” he says.

He has called for further animal and clinical research to confirm his findings and look for possible mechanisms involved in such an association.

Tags: Child Health | Diet & Food | North America

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