Researchers have found that one in four children in Dublin is deficient in vitamin D.

Researchers at Trinity College Dublin have found that the proportion of children deficient in essential vitamins has increased to one in three children living in socio-economically disadvantaged areas.

The study, published today in the Journal of Nutritional Science, is the largest in Ireland to date, with vitamin D deficiency predominant in women and children over the age of 12.

“This study shows that vitamin D deficiency is as prevalent in children as adults, especially during teenage years when new bone mass is acquired. Trinity, a consultant doctor at St. James Infirmary Hospital. Dr. Kevin McCarroll, Senior Clinical Lecturer at St. James Infirmary, said:

Approximately 90 pc of our peak bone mass is achieved in childhood, and vitamin D is essential for rapid bone growth during this period.

Vitamin D is produced when the body exposes the skin to direct sunlight. People living in Ireland do not produce enough vitamin D from October to March, and naturally occurring vitamin D sources are limited.

Calcium is just as important for bone health, but vitamin D is the key to proper absorption of dietary calcium.

Low intakes of vitamin D and calcium increase the risk of developing rickets, bone brittleness (osteoporosis), and bone softening (osteocalcin).

Helena Scully, Principal Investigator of Mercer’s Granvia Irish Bone Research, said: Fellow of the MISA Institute at St. James Infirmary.

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