What causes dietary rickets?

Updated: Aug 10, 2020
  • Author: Horacio B Plotkin, MD, FAAP; Chief Editor: Jatinder Bhatia, MBBS, FAAP  more...
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A recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin D has not been defined. [4] Because no strong data support an RDA, recommendations for vitamin D intake actually refer to "adequate intake." Dietary rickets can be a consequence of inadequate intake of calcium, vitamin D, phosphate, or a combination of these.

Infants fed exclusively with mother's milk can develop nutritional rickets because of the low content of vitamin D in breast milk (4-100 IU/L). In premature infants, insufficient amounts of calcium and phosphorus may cause nutritional rickets. Furthermore, reserves of vitamin D in the neonate highly depend on the mother's vitamin D status. Infants with low or no sun exposure may develop rickets, particularly if they have dark skin, because of decreased vitamin D production by the skin after exposure to UV light. Maternal hypovitaminosis D may cause congenital rickets in infants.

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