Monday, 11 November 2013

Rickets: the return of another disease

Rickets is a disease that once caused curved legs and spines in the the malnourished, ill-housed and poverty stricken children of post-industrial Britain.

And it is now returning to haunt a new generation of children in Britain, and elsewhere in the so-called developed world.

The cause of rickets is well-known - a severe deficiency in Vitamin D, which helps our bodies to absorb calcium. It was long-thought to be a disease of the past, not relevant to our modern, affluent society, and for once, the pharmaceutical industry did not claim responsibility for its eradication! The reason for this is simple - people have ready access to Vitamin D mainly through sunshine, but also through oily fish, eggs and dairy products. The disease disappeared in Britain in the 1950's, especially after a campaign to give children cod-liver oil (rich in Vitamin D).

So why in 2011 were there 762 cases reported (and the incidence thought to be higher than this)? It is, after all, an eminently preventable disease. Official (conventional medical) sources give several:

  • children spend more time indoors (out of the sun) playing computer games and watching television.
  • British flour and milk products are not fortified with Vitamin D.
  • Children cover up more from the sun, either because of the fear of skin cancer, or in some cases for religious reasons.
  • The vast increase in the use of sunscreens, and total sun blocks.

The fear of the sun in recent years has been heightened by the much publicised decline of the Ozone layer. Sunscreen manufacturers took hold of this fact, and turned it into fear. And in a brilliant marketing exercise, has persuaded the vast majority of people that sunshine is bad for us, and that we need their sunscreens to protect ourselves from it. 

The result has been the return of Rickets. For once, it is not the Big Pharma interests that are responsible either for the fear, the 'eradication' of the disease, or in its return - but it is certainly another large commercial interest, with products to sell, has been largely responsible for this.

But notice the response of the Conventional Medical Establishment - typically to mass-medicate everyone with manufactured products!

  • We need to augment our flour and milk with Vitamin D. 
  • We need to give all children free access to Vitamin D.

More useful, more natural advice, and the cheapest advice would be to get children back out into the sunshine in a sensible and reasonable manner. Apparently, the darker skinned we are, the more sunshine we need. But even in this cloudy country we have enough of this 'free' resource to prevent rickets!

Sometimes health is a matter of common sense - not the support of big commercial interests, and manufactured drugs, vaccines, and even Vitamins.