By Marc Sorenson, EdD. Sunlight Institute
In the medical journal Pediatrics, an interesting report discussed the plight of two young girls who suffered from severe tooth decay related to Rickets,[i] a horrific disease caused by vitamin D deficiency. This illness is characterized by defective bone growth and horribly deformed bodies, and, as we will see, it may also be characterized by teeth without enamel.
After a century of knowing how to prevent this disastrous children’s disease, it is returning, and cases of rickets are reported as far south as Texas, Georgia and North Carolina.[ii] Not surprisingly, 83% of cases occur in black children, and 96% are breast-fed, indicating a lack of vitamin D in their mothers’ milk. In Britain, there has been a profound increase in rickets cases, from 183 cases in 1995 to 762 cases in 2011.[iii]
In the research on rickets and tooth decay (citation 1), the authors make the following statement: “Deficiency during pregnancy can cause enamel hypoplasia of primary teeth. Enamel regeneration is currently impossible; hypoplasia [abnormal deficiency of cells or structural elements] is therefore irreversible, and once affected, teeth are prone to fast caries development. Deficiency during early childhood can affect permanent teeth and ensuing caries can sometimes lead to tooth loss at a young age.”
In other words, lack of sun exposure in pregnancy leads to lack of vitamin D in the serum of the fetus, which leads to rickets—and in some cases—teeth without enamel. What a horrible way to begin life! Women have become so frightened of sunlight that they try to avoid it completely; by so doing, they rob themselves and their fetuses of vital vitamin D and pass on myriad complications to their offspring, whose bodies and brains cannot develop properly in the womb without sufficient vitamin D. Regular, non-burning sunlight exposure would completely prevent this horrid disease and the dental disaster that may accompany it. The Sunscare movement, including some dermatologists and drug companies that sell sunscreen, are those who have blood on their hands. No one ever needs to have rickets. Pregnant mothers, get out in the sun for a few minutes around midday and see that your children play in the sunlight regularly. Just take care not to burn. If all mothers and children would do this, Rickets would never be heard from again.
[i] Davit-Béal T, Gabay J, Antoniolli P, Masle-Farquhar J, Wolikow M. Dental complications of rickets in early childhood: case report on 2 young girls. Pediatrics. 2014 Apr;133(4):e1077-81.
[ii] Weisberg, P. et al. Nutritional rickets among children in the United States: review of cases reported between 1986 and 2003. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;80(6 Suppl):1697S-705S
[iii] Mitch Blair, health promotion officer at Royal College of Paediatrics, and Child Health. http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/rickets-makes-a-comeback-in-britain/story-fneuz9ev-1226756234813