Thursday, January 21, 2010

Victorian disease to make a comeback?

Rickets maybe on the return!! Shocking as it may seem, doctors are claiming that due to poor diet in modern children and the lack of outdoor play, we are now seeing a deficiency in vitamin D. Remember hearing your parents tell you about having to take gobfuls of cod liver oil, well it did them the world of good. Children are spending more time inside on computer screens and watching tv than ever before, when they only need to spend 20 minutes outside in the summer months to get all the vitamin D the body needs. In the wintertime, vitamin D can be found in a number of sources including oily fish, eggs, fortified breads and cereals.

Here are some facts about rickets:

  • The Romans described rickets as far back as the second century
  • The cause was discovered 100 years ago when scientists proved it was lack of vitamin D
  • The name was coined from the old English word 'wrikken' meaning to twist or bend
  • Children growing up during the war were told to eat their greens to avoid getting rickets
  • In the 1940s margarine was fortified with vitamin D, along with other foods, to prevent rickets
  • Folklore advising the use of cod liver oil was taken up by doctors, along with 'sunbaths' as a preventive
  • At the turn of the 20th century, women commonly died in childbirth due to rickets
  • It can cause complications such as bronchitis, bronchopneumonia and arthritis
  • Prevent rickets with exposure to sunlight for 20 minutes a day (with sunscreen if necessary), eating  calcium-rich foods such as milk and eggs and taking supplements such as cod liver oil

Click here to read the full article, courtesy of

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