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Vitamin D & gums.

Vitamin D may help prevent the inflammation that causes bleeding gums and that may eventually lead to periodontal disease, say dental experts at Boston University and elsewhere.

Researchers used data from a nationwide study that probed the gums around more than 77,000 teeth belonging to 6,700 nonsmokers. Bleeding was 20 percent less likely in those with the highest blood levels of vitamin D than in those with the lowest levels.

The authors suggest that vitamin D may keep gums healthy by fighting inflammation. Earlier studies suggested that vitamin D can also prevent periodontal disease by strengthening bone.

What to do: Make sure you get the recommended levels of vitamin D: 400 IU a day if you're over 50 and 600 IU if you're over 70. (Some experts recommend 1,000 IU a day for the over-70 crowd.)

You can get vitamin D from a multivitamin (most have 400 IU), many calcium supplements, milk (100 IU per cup), and from a few brands of yogurt, margarine, cereal, and orange juice (40 IU to 140 IU per serving).

Your skin makes vitamin D when exposed to the sun's ultraviolet rays (unless you're wearing sunscreen). But north of the line between Los Angeles and Atlanta, the UV light is too weak to make vitamin D from late fall through early spring.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 82: 575. 2005
COPYRIGHT 2005 Center for Science in the Public Interest
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2005, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:QUICK STUDIES
Publication:Nutrition Action Healthletter
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2005
Previous Article:Nuts to you! Good for your heart, but watch your waistline.
Next Article:B-vitamins & the brain.

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