May 18/Tokyo/Nutrition Journal -- Maternal nutrition status during pregnancy may affect fetal tooth development, formation and mineralization, and may affect dental caries susceptibility in children. Researchers investigated the association between maternal intake of dairy products and calcium during pregnancy and the risk of childhood dental caries.

The subjects were 315 Japanese mother-child pairs. Data on maternal intake during pregnancy were assessed through a diet history questionnaire. Outcome data was collected at 41-50 months of age. Children were classified as having dental caries if one or more primary teeth had decayed or been filled.

According to the research, higher maternal cheese intake during pregnancy was significantly inversely associated with the risk of dental caries in children, showing a clear inverse dose-response relationship; the adjusted odds ratio in comparison of the highest tertile with the lowest was 0.37 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.17-0.76, P for trend = 0.01). The inverse associations between maternal intake of total dairy products, yogurt and calcium during pregnancy and the risk of childhood dental caries were of borderline significance: the adjusted ORs for the highest tertile of total dairy products, yogurt, and calcium were 0.51 (95% CI: 0.23-1.09, P for trend = 0.07), 0.51 (95% CI: 0.23-1.10, P for trend = 0.07), and 0.50 (95% CI: 0.23-1.07, P for trend = 0.08), respectively.

There was no evident relationship between maternal milk intake and the risk of childhood dental caries, but these data suggested that high intake of maternal cheese during pregnancy may reduce the risk of childhood dental caries.

 From the May 21, 2012, Prepared Foods’ Daily News