After an alarming increase in the incidence of rickets, a crippling disease affecting children, researchers have recommended vitamin D supplements especially during the dark winter months.
Sally Davies, director general of research and development in the UK, states that children who prefer to stay indoors playing computer games or watching TV do not get enough sunlight, the natural source of vitamin D. This lifestyle leads to rickets, where the bones become soft and weak, leading to fractures, bowed legs and curvature of the spine.
Since humans need a crucial amount of vitamin D, besides sunlight and a diet that includes oily fish, egg yolk and liver, a daily supplement of at least of seven micrograms of the sunshine vitamin is essential.
Rickets was a common problem during the Industrial Revolution in England when a poor diet and a polluted atmosphere with very little sunlight coming through, affected children. It is disconcerting to note that an affluent lifestyle has led to the same problem today.