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Breastfeeding mums 'must' take vitamin D

Published 13/12/2011

The BBC has apologised after a radio presenter compared breastfeeding in public to having sex in front of other people
The BBC has apologised after a radio presenter compared breastfeeding in public to having sex in front of other people

A coroner has written to the UK health secretary calling for all pregnant women and those who breastfeed to take vitamin D.

North London coroner Andrew Walker said action should be taken to reduce the risk to others after he held an inquest last week into the death of a three-month-old boy following an infection.

In his letter to Andrew Lansley, Mr Walker said Milind Agarwal was taken to the doctor in July with symptoms of a probable viral infection.

A consultant paediatric pathologist told the coroner's court a vitamin D deficiency had a role in the progression of Milind's infection and suggested that all pregnant and breastfeeding women be prescribed 10mcg of vitamin D every day.

In 2009, experts warned a lack of vitamin D in pregnancy could lead to a youngster suffering rickets and longer-term problems such as schizophrenia and Type 1 diabetes.

While many people can get vitamin D from sunshine, those living in cooler countries may not be getting enough. The vitamin is found in small quantities in a few foods such as oily fish, eggs and liver.

Mr Walker told Mr Lansley consideration should be given "to increasing public awareness of vitamin D deficiency".

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