Monday, September 01, 2008

Vitamin D Deficiency

Last week the Jordan Times had a disturbing article about the extraordinarily high incidence of Vitamin D deficiency among Jordanian women who wear the hijab. Not enough of their skin is exposed to sunlight, the simplest, most natural way to produce Vitamin D. Without this vitamin the body cannot absorb and use calcium which is necessary for heart function and healthy bones. It’s been known for many years that women in northern countries, especially Scandinavia, have been prone to develop osteoporosis because they lack sunlight for many months of the year.

I was prepared to file this information aside with the thought that adults are responsible for the consequences of their decisions until I read another article – even more disturbing - “Vitamin D Deficiency May Lurk in Babies” NY Times, August 26, 2008. It seems that babies who are exclusively breast fed by mothers with a Vitamin D deficiency will also have this deficiency, and it may not be detected until the child begins to walk and his legs aren’t strong enough to support his weight! Hopefully, an effort will be made to screen Jordanian women, not only to help them, but to prevent them from unwittingly passing the deficiency on to their babies. Breast feeding is still the best nutrition for infants, but supplements of vitamin drops or cod liver oil should be given if the mother is deficient in Vitamin D. In the meantime, the sun shines nearly every day of the year in Jordan, and it’s free!



Anonymous kinzi said...

Now THAT is something I hadn't considered, but makes perfect sense!

I also didn't know about passing it on to children, but since 90% of Jordanian women give up breastfeeding by 6 months, hopefully not too many are affected.

Monday, September 01, 2008  
Blogger 7aki Fadi said...

Well here in Canada regardless of the status of the moms deficiency all give vitamin D supplement for breastfed babies. It seems that mothers milk is not enough when it comes to vitamin D

Tuesday, September 02, 2008  
Blogger MommaBean said...

Interesting issue. Fortunately, it's not something that I've had to worry about :). Here's to Vitamin D supplements!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008  
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Monday, November 30, 2009  

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