Some very sombre news reports have highlighted an important issue in the UK media this week: the role of vitamin D deficiency in instances of Sudden Infant Death.
This BBC news report notes that there have been calls for a probe into this link after two senior paediatric pathologists discovered evidence of vitamin D deficiency in a significant number of children who have suffered Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The important role of vitamin D in human health has been covered previously in Paleo Diet News, here.
What makes this report and others like it so tragic is that it suggests that there are instances of couples being prosecuted – maybe even imprisoned – for killing their children by shaking, when in fact the injuries are caused by severe rickets (which is, in turn, caused by a deficiency of vitamin D).
The pathologists’ findings, in children from London and Yorkshire, followed the discovery in 2009 of congenital rickets in a four-month-old baby whose parents had been accused of shaking him to death. Chana Al-Alas,19, and Rohan Wray, 22, were acquitted of murdering their son Jayden after the jury learned that the fractures which killed him - put forward by the prosecution as telltale signs of abuse – could have been caused by his severe rickets. Rickets were also discovered in Jayden’s mother, indicating a strong relationship between the nutritional status of the mother and child.
Michael Turner QC, who defended Miss Al-Alas, has strongly criticized the lack of knowledge about vitamin D deficiency of some of the expert witnesses at the trial. To followers of Paleo Diet News, this may not come as a huge surprise -
if you know anything about nutrition, it’s a pretty sound bet that you didn’t learn it from your doctor.
Perhaps this provides yet more evidence of the importance of taking charge of our own nutritional health – and that of our children. Certainly, it’s a compelling indication of the link between vitamin D and Sudden Infant Death.
You can learn more about this story in the following BBC Radio 4 Today Programme broadcast.
For more information on vitamin D and its important role in any diet – paleo diet or otherwise – check out the Vitamin D Council’s website.