Monday, 1 August 2011

Rickets is back.

I thought rickets was a third world condition or at least a disease from days gone by.
However, those harrowing images of children with bowed legs may not be a thing of the past.

In fact only last week the BBC reported new cases of this crippling bone disease in Cardiff.
So what can we do about it?
It's all about Vitamin D.
Rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults are caused by a lack of vitamin D.

There are three main ways of getting vitamin D - from the sun,  from food and from supplements.

Living in Scotland and being paranoid about skin cancer, most of us don't get enough sunlight for our bodies to build up enough Vitamin D stores to get us through the winter.
In theory you only need 10-15 minutes of unportected Scottish sun to get  enough.

Vitamin D is found naturally in oily fish, meat and eggs and it is added (by law) to margarines. Despite this most of us don't get more than about 40% or the daily amount we need from the food we eat.

So on to supplements:

NHS Health Scotland have issued new guidance on Vitamin D.

They recommend that all pregnant and breast feeding women take 10mcg per day
Breast fed babies up to 6 months old need an additional 7.5mcg per day
From 6 months to 5 years, children should be getting 7.5mcg per day

In addition housebound individuals and people over 65years old ought to be getting 10mcg per day of Vitamin D.

Many multivitamin preparations will have vitamin D in them, but they may not have ENOUGH to mee these new recommendations.
We can advise you on the best product for you.

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