Vitamin D is necessary for strong bones and muscles. Without Vitamin D, our bodies cannot effectively absorb calcium, which is essential to good bone health.Children who lack Vitamin D develop a condition called rickets, which causes bone weakness, bowed legs, and other skeletal deformities, such as stooped posture.Today, doctors are seeing an increase in the number of children with rickets. This article focuses on the reasons for the increase and things parents can do to improve their children’s bone health — as well as their own.

What is Vitamin D all about?

Vitamin D is really not a vitamin. Vitamins are special nutrients that the body needs but cannot make, so they must be obtained from what we eat or by supplements. Because our bodies can make Vitamin D in our skin when it is exposed to good sunlight, Vitamin D is considered a hormone.

How did we learn about Vitamin D and its importance?

When our ancestors stopped working in the fields and entered factories or schools, rickets began to be a problem — in fact, it was commonly seen during winter months, especially in northern locations.

In about 1920, people noticed that children who took cod liver oil rarely got rickets. This led to the discovery of Vitamin D and the beginning of Vitamin D supplementation of the diet.