Rickets rebound

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You thought it went out with consumption, but rickets — the bone disease caused by a vitamin D deficiency — is making a comeback, according to a story in NGNEWS, the online service of National Geographic. Rickets was nearly wiped out in the 1930s, when the government required that vitamin D be added to milk. But now that more women are breast-feeding their babies and we’re all spending less time outdoors (sunlight is another important source of the vitamin), some breast-fed infants aren’t getting enough vitamin D. Most cases are turning up among dark-skinned children, because darker skin doesn’t absorb sunlight as well as lighter skin.

Doctors who reported the problem were quick to assure mothers they shouldn’t give up breast-feeding, but they do recommend that dark-skinned infants who are exclusively breast-fed should be given vitamin D supplements.

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Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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