Kids Eat Vegan To Avoid Rickets – Instant News – Free Health Network

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▲ Children should pay attention to getting enough vitamin D for healthy growth; the image is a situational photo, and the characters in the image have nothing to do with this article. (Photo provided / Luo Fusong)

Text / Luo Fusong

From June to August of this year I met two children (an 11 month old girl and a 1 year and 8 month old boy) who were fed “puree” or a vegan diet based on vegetables and nuts recommended by the Internet celebrities. , suffering from rickets.

Clinical manifestations were whole body convulsions for 10 seconds or O-shaped legs on both feet, growth retardation, etc. The blood test confirmed severe hypocalcemia and vitamin D deficiency. After the appropriate amount of vitamin D treatment, the condition of the two children gradually became stable.

Please read on …

Rickets is caused by an extreme lack of vitamin D. The peak of incidence is between 3 and 18 months of age and there are two types of manifestations. The first is symptomatic hypocalcemia (including seizures) which occurs during periods of rapid growth; the second presents as chronic symptoms with O-legs in both feet, bone hypomineralization, growth retardation and asymptomatic hypocalcemia.

Vitamin D is obtained from two sources, and the skin can naturally synthesize it after exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet B (UV-B) rays. Factors such as weather conditions, air pollution, sunshine duration, latitude of residence and skin color can make it difficult for infants and young children to determine adequate vitamin D availability. Additionally, exposure to UVB rays in childhood it is associated with skin cancers (basal and squamous cell carcinomas and malignant melanoma) later in life. Therefore, the Pediatric Medical Association guidelines recommend that infants under 6 months avoid direct sunlight, minimize sun exposure activities, and use protective clothing and sunscreen.

Dietary sources of vitamin D are relatively high in fatty fish (such as mackerel, sardines, salmon, tuna, saury, anchovies, etc.), liver and fat of aquatic mammals, and egg yolks fed with vitamin D.

Eating a vegan or “pure food” diet of vegetables and nuts is very low in vitamin D. Vitamin D protects against certain diseases, including infections, autoimmune diseases (multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis), some cancers ( breast, ovary, colorectal, prostate) and diabetes.

Sufficient daily supplementation of vitamin D

Breast milk generally has a low concentration of vitamin D and it is recommended that all breastfed babies start vitamin D supplementation within 2 months of life, as well as older babies who consume less than 1000ml of infant formula or infant formula with vitamin D per day, should be supplemented with 400 international units (IU) of vitamin D per day.

Vitamin D deficiency can also occur in all age groups, particularly in rapidly growing children and adolescents.If the daily intake of milk and foods fortified with vitamin D (such as fortified cereals and eggs, egg yolks egg) is insufficient, a daily vitamin D supplement of 400 IU should be used. Additionally, infants and young children should have serum vitamin D concentrations above 20 ng / mL.

(The author is a physician from the Department of Pediatric Endocrinology and Genetics, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou)

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