[For himself and co-workers: L. M. WAUGH and MAXWELL KARSHAN.]
Retention levels of calcium, phosphorus and nitrogen are not correlated with presence or absence of caries in Eskimo children. There is no basis for the view, frequently held, that freedom from caries in a primitive people is due to nutritional superiority of ” natural ” as compared with ” civilized ” diets.
(1) In nutrition-equilibrium experiments, on 23 Eskimo children in three communities in Kuskokwim region of Alaska (1937), no correlation was found between retentions of calcium, phosphorus, or nitrogen, and presence or absence of caries. (2) Retentions of these elements were fairly uniform for all children in any one community, but there were marked differences in retentions between the children of any two communities. (3) The data suggest that freedom from caries, found in most Eskimos in the area studied, may exist despite such diverse conditions—many of which were doubtless seasonal at these communities—as diets (a) low in calcium and moderately high in phosphorus, or (b) very high in both calcium and phosphorus ; (c) potentially acid, or (d) potentially basic ; (e) causing high metabolic balances of both calcium and phosphorus, or (f) large negative metabolic balances of both calcium and phosphorus.
References: J. Den. Res. (Proc. Int. Assoc. Den. Res.), 1939 ; Ant. J. Dis. Child. (in press).