Vitamin D has had an increased amount of attention in the media over the past few weeks, due to its importance in the growth and development of our muscles and bones. Doctors have been looking at its role in proper functioning in the immune system, especially in new born babies.
Vitamin D has several important functions, it helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These substances are needed to keep bones and teeth healthy. Experts have suggested that due to lack of Vitamin D throughout pregnancy new born babies are being born with bone deficiency’s in particular Rickets. Rickets is a childhood bone disorder where bone soften and become prone to fractures and deformity. Although the main cause of Rickets is a lack of Vitamin D, a lack of calcium in ones diet is another.
Recent studies have shown that 1 in 4 toddlers are found to be lacking in vitamin D, and even more worryingly senior paediatric pathologists have discovered vitamin D deficiency in a significant number of children who have died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. A study conducted by Dr Cohen found that 75% of babies who had died of natural causes were deficient in Vitamin D.
There are also fears such deficiencies may have lead to children being taken away from their parents, when it is in fact rickets that are responsible for the deaths and injuries that are thought to be suspicious. In 2009 rickets were discovered by Dr Schoenberg, in a 4 month old baby whose parents had been accused of shaking him to death.
Although most people get enough Vitamin D from sunlight and food the Department of Health recommends all pregnant and breastfeeding women, children aged six months to five years and people aged 65 and over should take daily vitamin D supplements.
It is not essential that you need Vitamin D in your diet every day, because any of the vitamin your body does not need immediately is stored for future use. However The Department of Health advises those who take Vitamin D supplements can safely take up to 25 micrograms (0.25mg) a day.
Many Vitamin D supplements are already in pregnancy tablets such as, the Viridian Pregnancy Complex which contains Vitamin D2 (Ergocalicferol) which is plant derived.