“Symptoms include bowed legs, stunted growth, bone pain or tenderness, large forehead, and trouble sleeping. Complications may include bone fractures, muscle spasms, or an abnormally curved spine. The most common cause of rickets is a vitamin D deficiency.” (Wikipedia)
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English physician Daniel Whistler, is credited as the earliest person to describe rickets. In 1645, he published a paper noting signs and symptoms such as the aforementioned bone pain or tenderness, as well as dental deformities, delayed formation of teeth, short stature, impaired growth, decreased muscle strength, and a number of skeletal deformities such as abnormally shaped skull, rib-cage abnormalities, bowlegs. This also included breastbone, pelvic, and spinal deformities. Five years later, in 1650, Cambridge physician Francis Glissen produced a more thorough study and a clinical treatise on rickets that remains a classic among medical texts.
Then, for two centuries, nothing more was discovered, although during that period as the disease prevailed in England, bakers’ bread adulterated with alum was blamed, and this led to further study of the role of diet in cause and prevention.
Over the past two years, in this age of Covid weariness, we can hardly turn around without hearing of how important it is to get more vitamin D into our bodies to strengthen our immune systems. Nowadays, studies have confirmed not only the importance of a certain level of vitamin D in our diets for greater immunity and to prevent rickets, but they have shown that people who obtain higher levels of D, and specifically D3, have a decreased risk of certain cancers such as colon cancer and prostate cancer, and we already know it helps prevent osteoporosis by increasing the absorption of calcium, magnesium, and phosphate into our bones.