Dr Mellanby’s Remineralizing Diet

In the 1920’s and 30’s Dr May Mellanby conducted diet trials to determine the effect of vitamin D and nutrition on the development of tooth decay.  Importantly, these trials were conducted in resident hospitals and orphanages, which allowed precise control over food intake.

Compared to the Standard Diet of the day, Dr Mellanby obtained remarkable results with the Remineralizing Diet.  Over a six month period, those children following the Remineralizing Diet experienced very few new cavities, with the widespread arrest and healing of pre-existing decay, while those children on the Standard Diet continued to developed more new cavities with no healing.

Comparison between the Standard and Mineralizing Diets. The children on the Remineralizing Diet experienced almost no new cavities, with widespread healing of existing cavities.

The second remarkable aspect of Dr Mellanby’s Remineralizing Diet was how unremarkable the food was.  Basically it consisted of balanced, though stodgy British fare, supplemented with vitamin D and rich in calcium.  It contained no organ meats, bone marrow, shellfish or fermented foods.  The meat and dairy products were likely from grass-fed animals, however it is not stated whether the dairy was raw or pasteurized.

The main features of the diet were:

  • Vitamin D was supplement using cod liver oil and vitamin D supplements to about 2000 IU per day.
  • Milk was served with all meals so that each child received about one quart per day.   This provided about 1200mg of calcium out of a daily total of 1700mg, and also provided considerable phosphorus;
  • Added sugar (including jam and syrup) was limit to 57 g per day, or about 14 teaspoons.   Today in the US, children and adolescents consume on average 26 teaspoons of added sugar per day.
  • The diet contained no cereal, bread, rice or other grains.  Carbohydrates in the diet came from potatoes, fruit and vegetables, milk and sugar.

Sample meals from the Remineralizing Diet are given below:

  • Omelet, cocoa with milk.
  • Scrambled egg, milk, fresh salad.
  • Omelet containing 2oz ground beef.
  • Fish-cake with potatoes dipped in egg and fried.
  • Bacon, fried or finely chopped with parsley and scrambled egg.
Lunch(Main meal of day)
  • Potatoes, steamed ground beef, carrots, stewed fruit.
  • Irish Stew, potatoes, stewed fruit.
  • Cold meat cut into small pieces with cold dried carrot, onion and potato, and served on lettuce leaf.
  • Fresh fruit salad with egg, custard or cream.
  • Tinned pineapple with jello.
  • Baked apple with center filled with golden syrup before baking.
  • Minced beef warmed with Bovril, green salad.
  • Potato cakes or fish cakes.
  • Eggs, cooked in various ways.
Evening Snack (Supper)
  • Fish and potatoes fried in dripping.
  • Thick potato soup made with milk.
  • Lentil or celery soup made with milk.
  • Cheese, served in various ways.
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One Response to Dr Mellanby’s Remineralizing Diet

  1. Pingback: Is white bread better for teeth than wholewheat? |

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