Rickets or Child Abuse

The new Vitamin D Newsletter from the Vitamin D Council is certainly a scary read: Vitamin D Deficiency Rickets: Another Shattered Family.

The prevailing ignorance about vitamin D deficiency among doctors is really astonishing, considering that the medical literature is full of articles on the subject, and that you can even read about it in many ordinary news papers. In the present newsletter Dr Canell discusses the results of a recent study carried out in the UK:

About one-third of the fetuses in England have evidence of intrauterine rickets, as evidenced by the classic finding of splaying or flaring at the end of the femur. They found splaying was common in fetuses whose mothers had vitamin D levels less than 20 ng/mL, and even saw a suggestion of splaying with levels less than 30 ng/mL. Only about 1/3 of the pregnant women in the United States have levels above 30 ng/mL.

Neglectful parents can rightfully be sent to jail for child abuse. But sometimes ignorant doctors contribute to having innocent parents sent to jail and having their children taken away from them. Doctors should do no harm, but practicing ignorance is just that.