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February 6, 1937

The Influence of Diet on Caries in Children's Teeth (Final Report)

JAMA. 1937;108(6):499-500. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780060065029

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The report summarizes the conclusions of the Committee on Dental Disease, appointed by the British Medical Research Council to test the validity of the theory, based on Mellanby's earlier work, that the nutritional condition of the body is a dominant factor in determining the structure of teeth and their resistance to decay. Specifically, the study was confined to the effect on the incidence of dental decay of the administration of vitamin D, in the form of either cod liver oil or viosterol. The children studied were inmates of three orphanages in the vicinity of Birmingham. About 250 children were included in the survey; one study continued over a period of three years, another for two and one-half years. In addition to detailed dental records, data were obtained as to the level of general health and bony deformities such as are produced by rickets. The dental examination included the study of

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