Who would doubt that good has come from adding first, irradiated ergosterol and later calciferol, to milk powder and other infant foods ; over the years dosages have increased and at the same time vitamin D has. reached the child in cod‐liver oil and in proprietary solutions of various kinds. Rachitic children were once the rule rather than the exception; the Madonna and Child of some old Italian masters frequently showed the Infant with bowed legs, obviously accepted by the artist as not abnormal. Now the wheel is reaching its full cycle and a report has been published recommending substantial reductions in the quantities of vitamin D normally given to infants. This is the work of a committee appointed by the British Paediatric Association at the instance of the Ministry of Health. It gives details of biological assays of a proprietary fortified milk powder and of a cereal food; it makes some play of the fact that the manufacturer must add an “overage” of vitamin D in order to ensure that the product will not fall below the claimed potency during its market life. In the course of a day a child could receive as much as 4,000 units of vitamin D, if being given recently manufactured milk powder and cereal, together with cod‐liver oil (or its equivalent); the accepted requirement of the normal infant has been regarded as about 700–800 units.
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