Sunday, February 15, 2009

Vitamins Prevent Cavities and Anorexia: Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Niacin, and Thiamine

Prior columns have used available science to support the assertion that optimized nutrition can prevent cavities and anorexia. Read more here, and here . The columns assert that the four vitamins associated with deficiency diseases – vitamin C and scurvy, vitamin D and rickets, niacin and pellagra, and thiamine and beriberi – are special. These simple assertions have not been previously tested. If you are looking for good doses to start with, click here. Neither the healthcare profession nor the public has previously made a concerted effort to use these four vitamins together to optimize health.

Simple bold assertions, once made, are usually tested. It is just a matter of time before there is a consensus. Vitamin C, vitamin D, niacin, and thiamine prevent cavities and anorexia or they don’t. I’m writing today to remind readers that they don’t need to wait for a consensus. They can be part of it. I’m also writing to remind readers that even when there is a consensus, it doesn’t mean that the consensus is right for you. Just because it turns out that these vitamins don’t prevent cavities or anorexia in most people doesn’t mean you might not be an exception. Conversely, just because it turns out that these vitamins indeed prevent cavities and anorexia in most people doesn’t mean that they will work for you. Each person, and each family must, in the end, test the scientific recommendations on themselves.

Anorexia is especially important because the stakes are so high. Anorexia causes many young women a long and painful death stretching over years. Sadder still, interviews with chronic anorexics enables the question to be asked, “Are the incurable anorexics that die young the lucky ones?” If you haven’t personally experienced watching a child die from a painful, chronic disease it is hard to fully appreciate the impact on friends and family. If using vitamin C, vitamin D, niacin, and thiamine are going to reduce the prevalence of eating disorders from the ca. 500,000 cases there are today to below 50,000, it’s urgent to make it happen as soon as possible. Millions of lives are at stake.

Cavities and gum disease are especially important because they are so common and so visible. Cancer, heart disease, and diabetes are complex diseases that are difficult to understand. Patients feel different from day to day for no apparent reason. There is nothing to see. Everyone can understand cavities and gum diseases. Just open your mouth and look. Better yet, you can be highly scientific. Ask your dentist to improve their record keeping. Dentists today routinely archive photographs of your teeth and gums in addition to x-rays. They routinely measure and mark the pockets in the gums around each tooth. They poke the gums and measure the tendency to bleed. Reviewing your own dental records with your dentist is solid science worthy of scientific paper should you or your dentist care to make the effort.

The assertion that vitamin C, vitamin D, niacin, and thiamine prevent cavities is bold. Many will dismiss it outright just on the basis that it is too good to be true. The fact remains, however, that neither the healthcare profession nor the public has previously made a concerted effort to use these four vitamins together to prevent cavities and gum disease. The assertion has been made, and the testing has started. A consensus will be reached.

Cavities and gum disease disproportionately afflict the young and the old. Most of this population is in the care of adults in the prime of life. If you are caring for children and/or parents suffering from cavities and/or gum disease, what are you going to tell them when it turns out that the simple act of providing vitamins available from sunshine and the local store could have prevented the pain and you didn’t act because no one else was acting either. If vitamins were dangerous, expensive, or difficult to obtain, you could tell them it was out of your hands. But none of these things are true. It is, in fact, in your hands.

Acting and not acting both involve risks. Act first and risk the embarrassment of having inconvenienced your children and/or parents with the chore of taking vitamin supplements and getting out in the sun. Don’t act and risk the terrible guilt of learning that you could have saved your loved ones from considerable suffering but did nothing.

I choose to act. If my family suffers from eating disorders, cavities, and/or gum disease, it won’t be for a lack of vitamins. If the vitamins work, it won’t just benefit my family. We will inform the family dentist, physicians, and friends of the results, building consensus instead of waiting for it.


At 4:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Guru, what entice you to post an article. This article was extremely interesting, especially since I was searching for thoughts on this subject last Thursday.

At 1:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Super-Duper site! I am loving it!! Will come back again - taking you feeds also, Thanks.

At 5:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This entire thing makes almost no sense at all.


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