A sixth-month-old baby died of rickets due to vitamin D insufficiency, and experts are pushing the United Kingdom to change and improve their policy on the matter.
Vitamins are essential nutrients to the human body, and any deficiency can lead to problems or death. On June 26, 2018, in the United Kingdom (UK), it was reported that a six-month-old baby died due to rickets, the softening and weakening of bones in children due to vitamin D insufficiency.
Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the gastrointestinal tract. It is significant for skeletal development, and the lack of it may cause not only rickets but also soft bones, seizures, and heart failure.
Vitamin D can be obtained through food such as fish oils, fatty fish, and egg yolks, to name a few and also from sunlight. Although the most excellent source of vitamin D is the sun, babies cannot absorb it safely from the sun due to the sensitivity of their skin and should not be exposed directly to sunlight.
Moreover, children with dark skin have a higher risk to obtain rickets as their skin produce less Vitamin D as compared to those with lighter skin color.
With this recent happening, experts at the University of Birmingham calls the attention of the UK government to change their policy on this matter by adequately monitoring and ensuring the sufficient intake of vitamin D in pregnant women and babies especially, those with dark skin.
However, the UK government has yet to provide a definite measure of the issue. As of today, only an advisory was issued to the public to take vitamin D supplements to prevent the deficiency thru the healthcare system, the NHS.
It is observed that Vitamin D also helps in various ways. Recent studies in 2018 also denote that Vitamin D assists in preventing and reducing obesity risks and diabetes.
Furthermore, studies are also being conducted to test whether or not Vitamin D can aid in the prevention of cancer (but, concrete evidence had yet to be found).
However, it must also be kept in mind that too much Vitamin D may also cause problems such as Hypercalcaemia, a condition that results from too much calcium which weakens the bones and damages the heart and kidney. Therefore, Vitamin D intake should not exceed 100mcg a day.