Monday, January 9, 2012

Murder trial highlights return of Dickensian killer

Lack of vitamin D is being linked to rickets, MS and asthma, so it's time to confront the Victorian villain once again

Editorial: "Down with this Dickensian disease"

LAST month, Rohan Wray and Chana Al-Alas walked free from the Old Bailey court in London after being cleared of killing their 4-month-old son Jayden in 2009. The injuries to his skull, knee, elbow, shoulder, hip, ankle and wrist - and haemorrhages in his skull and eyes - had seemed to suggest that the pair was responsible for their baby's death.

Post-mortems revealed a different story. Jayden had rickets, a Dickensian disease caused by a shortage of vitamin D, making his bones abnormally weak and vulnerable to damage.

Further investigations showed that Jayden's mother was also suffering from a lack of vitamin D. She had been unable to supply Jayden with enough of the vitamin, either before his birth or afterwards in her breast milk.

The case has highlighted a resurgence in rich countries of the potentially fatal diseases that result from a lack of vitamin D. Read More