Periodontal disease damages tissues as a result of dysregulated host responses against the chronic bacterial biofilm insult and approximately 50% of US adults >30 years old exhibit periodontitis. The association of five blood nutrients and periodontitis were evaluated due to our previous findings regarding a potential protective effect for these nutrients in periodontal disease derived from the US population sampled as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1999⁻2004). Data from over 15,000 subjects was analyzed for blood levels of cis-β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, folate, vitamin D, and vitamin E, linked with analysis of the presence and severity of periodontitis. Moderate/severe disease patients had lower cis-β-carotene levels across all racial/ethnic groups and these decreased levels in moderate/severe periodontitis were exacerbated with age. β-cryptoxanthin demonstrated lower levels in severe disease patients across the entire age range in all racial/ethnic groups. Folate differences were evident across the various age groups with consistently lower levels in periodontitis patients >30 years and most pronounced in females. Lower levels of vitamin D were consistently noted across the entire age range of patients with a greater difference seen in females with periodontitis. Finally, an analytical approach to identify interactions among these nutrients related to age and periodontitis showed interactions of vitamin D in females, and folate with race in the population. These findings suggest that improving specific nutrient intake leading to elevated blood levels of a combination of these protective factors may provide a novel strategy to affect the significant increase in periodontitis that occurs with aging.
Keywords: aging; nutrients; periodontitis.