If you have not read the previous 3 articles, start here.
One of the Biggest Nutrient-Zappers: Phytic Acid. Why it is blocking all your best efforts to feed your kids mineral dense foods
Phytic acid is the principal storage form of phosphorus in many plant tissues, especially the bran portion of grains and other seeds. Up to 80% of phosphorous is bound to phytate and unusable. In addition, this bound phytate molecule can also bind to calcium, zinc, magnesium and iron in the digestive tract. So these minerals are not absorbed from the meal, as we expect and need. Phytate effectively decreases the amount of minerals we get from our foods.
* NOTE: there is some controversy as to whether phytate, being fully bound to phosphorous ALREADY has the ability to bind other minerals. Some believe it ONLY reduces the amount of minerals available for absorption from the particular food that contains the phytate, i.e. grains; while others believe there are “arms” of the molecule that can bind additional minerals present in the meal, and thus the digestive tract, lowering the effective mineral absorption of the whole meal. There is however no controversy that phytate will NOT effect mineral absorption from the next meal. As long is it is not present, it doesn’t effect overall mineral absorption.
Why do we care about mineral absorption and phytates and what does this have to do with Cavities??
Why is this important to the discussion of tooth decay? Because we have thoroughly discussed the necessity of phosphorous and many other minerals to the Dentinal Fluid and nourishment of our teeth. If cavities are a serious problem, ANYTHING that diminishes the amount of minerals being absorbed is essential to consider. If the diet is deficient in mineral rich foods to begin with, AND phytate is present in most meals, the teeth will not receive adequate nutrients to form, heal and protect themselves. This is the situation with a Standard American Diet, even if you aren’t eating a lot of added sugar.
Scenario: Considering that kids don’t like vegetables, the soils that veggies grow in are mineral depleted, primary nutrition likely comes from processed meats, cheese and oils and the foods most common in children’s diets are cereal-based or wheat-based foods (rich in phytates), it is no wonder cavities are such a problem today, despite good oral hygiene.
The other answer as to why many of the phytate rich foods cause cavities is because of blood sugar. Remember how the level of blood sugar directly affects the level of phosphorous in the blood? (back in previous articles) High blood sugar = low blood phosphorous and phosphorous is what signals the Dentinal Fluid to flow PROPERLY. Most high-phytate foods also trigger blood sugar spikes: cereal, bread, pasta, flour, baked goods, etc. Even without detectable sugar in the food, refined carbohydrates spike blood sugar. A clear example is that the blood sugar level triggered by 1 piece of whole wheat bread is equal to half a Snickers bar. YES!! It’s true!!!!
So What Do I Do? What Do I eat and feed my kids????
I want to emphasize that this is not a blame game; this is not meant to shame anyone. I am simply here to show you a different way, to shed light on why the same old “healthy” eating habits are not serving us. IF your child has cavities and you are avoiding sugar and juice, but still following the standard, USDA Food Guide recommendations, there is a lot of room for improvement; and it may not be what your dentist or pediatrician are telling you. But, there has to be another way, right?! Since this way isn’t working?!?
Or schedule a consult to Work with me to get started now with making the changes your family needs to heal cavities.
5) Navert B and Sandstrom B. Reduction of the phytate content of bran by leavening in bread and its effect on zinc absorption in man. British Journal of Nutrition 1985 53:47-53; Phytic acid added to white-wheat bread inhibits fractional apparent magnesium absorption in humans1–3. Bohn T and others. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2004 79:418 –23.