|Vitamin D Deficiency In Childhood|
Vitamin D is necessary for strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D deficiency
may lead to a condition called rickets , especially
in children, in which bones and teeth are weak. Although rarely seen in
the United States and Europe, rickets is still a problem in many parts
of the world. It is currently ranked among the top 5 childhood diseases
in developing countries.
[ 1 ]
Some studies have shown that infants who are totally breast-fed, especially
with dark-skinned mothers, and have little exposure to sunlight may be
at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
[ 2 ]
In adults vitamin D deficiency may cause a condition called osteomalacia ,
in which calcium is lost from bones so that they become weak.
Ergocalciferol is the form of vitamin D used
in vitamin supplements. Some conditions may increase the body's need for
vitamin D. These include:
- Intestine diseases
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Overactivity of the parathyroid glands with kidney failure
- Pancreas disease
- Surgical removal of stomach
Vitamin D is found naturally only in fish and fish-liver oils. However,
it is also found in milk (which has been vitamin
D-fortified ). Cooking does not affect vitamin D content in foods.
Vitamin D is sometimes called the "sunshine vitamin'' since it is
made in the skin when exposed to sunlight. Thus, individuals and breast-fed
infants who lack exposure to sunlight, as well as dark-skinned individuals,
may be more likely to have a vitamin D deficiency. A balanced diet and
at least 1.5 to 2 hours a week in the sunshine should provide all the
vitamin D one needs.
The information in this page is presented in summarised form and has been taken
from the following source(s):
1. American Academy
of Family Physicians, American Family Physician :
Medline Plus Medical Encyclopaedia, U.S. National Library
of Medicine: http://medlineplus.gov
(def;articles & more)