Saturday, December 15, 2012

'Plethora' of diseases caused by low vitamin D - Telegraph

'Plethora' of diseases caused by low vitamin D - Telegraph:

A lack of awareness about vitamin D deficiency and the 'plethora' of disease it is linked to is fuelling a rise in preventable illnesses among children, experts at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health have said.

Despite low cost supplements being widely available health care professionals and parents do not know the importance of taking them, they said.

Doctors have said the poor summer weather will contribute to an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency as the lack of sunshine will have meant depleted stores of the vitamin which the body can make from sunlight.

The College has launched a campaign to ensure all pregnant women, those breastfeeding, children aged between six months and five years and the elderly aged over 65 take vitamin D supplements in accordance with guidelines.

It comes as figures show that cases of rickets, poor bone growth causing pain and bowed legs, have risen fourfold in the last 15 years.


Vitamin D can be found naturally in some margarines, eggs and in oily fish but it can be added to milk and cereals.

Vitamin D deficiency is known to increase the risk of diabetes, tuberculosis, multiple sclerosis and rickets and a quarter of children and around half of the white adults have a serious lack of the vitamin.
Professor Mitch Blair, Officer for Health Promotion at the RCPCH, said: “We know vitamin D deficiency is a growing problem – and localised research reveals startling high levels of vitamin deficiency amongst certain groups including children.

“People can only get a fraction of their recommended daily amount of vitamin D through food and very little from sunlight. So getting out in the sun more or eating more oily fish isn’t going to solve the problem.

This is a total BS statement. After years of telling us to avoid the sun because of cancer risks, now we're told that sunlight, which can produce tens of thousands of IU of vitamin D on bare skin, doesn't produce much at all. We need supplements? How in the world did we get Vitamin D before the great epidemic of low vitamin D levels started on 15 years ago then!

"Lack of vitamin D is related to a plethora of serious illnesses in children and adults that could be prevented through relatively simple steps such as taking supplements.”

The RCPCH is launching a campaign calling for: vitamin D supplements to be readily available at low-cost and high quality; an investigation into the pros and cons of further fortification of food with vitamin D; professional guidance for health care professionals on how to diagnose and treat diseases linked to vitamin D deficiency; and a public awareness campaign.


“And equally as important is making sure that all health care professionals can spot the signs of vitamin D deficiency in children; aches and pains, poor growth, muscle weakness and seizures – and make sure they get appropriately treated.”

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