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Indian J Pediatr. 1997 Mar-Apr;64(2):153-7.

Nutritional and metabolic rickets.

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Post-graduate Department of Human Metabolism and Endocrinology, L.L.R.M. Medical College, Meerut, U.P.


Nutritional rickets is caused by vitamin D deficiency due to lack of exposure to sunlight. Neonatal rickets occurs only in infants born to mothers with very severe osteomalacia. Calcium deficiency alone does not cause mineralisation defects. It only causes osteoporosis and secondary hyperparathyroidism with raised plasma, 1,25 (OH)2D and osteocalcin. Low 25-OHD, increased IPTH, increased alkaline phosphatase in plasma and decreased calcium and increased hydroxyproline in urine are diagnostic of rickets. Low or undetectable plasma levels of 25-OHD, in presence of high plasma 1,25(OH)2D and IPTH are often observed during treatment with vitamin D. Even the marginal intakes of fluoride (> 2.5 mg/day) cause rickets in calcium deficient children. Indian children often need high dose of vitamin D due to severely depleted D stores, high IPTH and severe bone disease (radiologic and histomorphometric) for treatment.

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