Too Much Time Inside Puts Kids At Risk For Rickets
Rickets, a disorder caused by a lack of Vitamin D, calcium, or phosphate, was notorious for causing bone deformities among the poorest children in 17th century England.
Once doctors and scientists figured out that it only took a healthy dose of Vitamin D (gained through exposure to sunlight) to counteract this disorder, and this nutrient was added to many common foods in the 1940′s, rickets was considered cured.
Unfortunately, the sedentary lifestyle embraced by many children and teenagers these days has caused a resurgence of this avoidable disease.
BBC News reports that, in the UK, “rickets is making a comeback. More than 20% of children tested for bone problems at Southampton General Hospital have showed signs of the crippling disease.”
Professor Nicholas Clarke and his colleagues at Southampton’s Children’s Orthopaedic Unit say they are “astonished” at the increase in admissions of children with the condition.
“This is quite unbelievable – in a part of the country with more sunshine than anywhere else – it is honestly shocking” he told BBC.
“It’s not about poverty or ethnicity, its simply about the reduction in exposure to sunlight,” Clarke said.
Vitamin D is absorbed from food or produced by the skin when exposed to sunlight, and helps the body control calcium and phosphate levels. If the blood levels of these minerals become too low, the body may produce hormones that cause calcium and phosphate to be released from the bones. This leads to weak and soft bones (PubMedHealth).
According to SunshineVitamin.org, “Humans make 90 percent of our vitamin D naturally from sunlight exposure to our skin – specifically, from ultraviolet B exposure to the skin, which naturally initiates the conversion of cholesterol in the skin to vitamin D3.”
Avoiding a lack of Vitamin D in the diet is essential for health and energy, in both children and adults. Use the resources below to reduce the risk of rickets for yourself and your family:
3 Ways To Get Vitamin D When The Sun Is Hiding
Image Credit: Flickr - Jerine