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Information on the latest vitamin D news and research.

Find out more information on deficiency, supplementation, sun exposure, and how vitamin D relates to your health.

Vitamin D deficiency in SIDS

The BBC reports just recently that two pathologists in England have seen the light. Not only have they identified two babies who died of (vitamin D deficiency induced) heart failure, and one from (vitamin D deficiency induced) hypocalcemic seizures, they found vitamin D deficiency in eight babies who died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), five infants who died from asthma and five who died from lung infection. In a group of 45 infants who died from “natural causes,” 75% were vitamin D deficient, making these pathologists think that these infants are not dying from natural causes but from a resurgence of a childhood plague from the Industrial Revolution.

As important as their first realization is, don’t forget their second realization: authorities are unjustly snatching helpless infants away from their parents (and often putting the parents in jail) for fractures caused by vitamin D deficiency. As they say, vitamin D deficiency can make bones “brittle and capable of fracture with little or no real force.”

Andrew Hosken Call for vitamin D infant death probe. BBC Radio 1/26/2012

As far as SIDS is concerned, the data are mixed. First, SIDS is highly seasonal. Studies in USA, Ireland, Canada, and England and Wales all show the same thing: SIDS is relatively rare in the summer. In fact, it is up to five times more common in January than August.

Furthermore, a Copenhagen study showed microscopic rickets was common in SIDS. However, in 1980, Dr. Laura Hillman and colleagues compared vitamin D levels of SIDS infants to levels of infants who died of other causes. They found no differences in vitamin D levels, although the average SIDS baby had a vitamin D level of only 19 ng/ml. The authors concluded, “Vitamin D deficiency can probably now be excluded as a possible cause of SIDS.” Why did they use the word, “probably”?

Hillman LS, Erickson M, Haddad JG Jr. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations in sudden infant death syndrome. Pediatrics. 1980 Jun;65(6):1137-9.

Because even then, the authors knew that vitamin D might be involved in many different kinds of infant deaths. If so, the control group they used was flawed. Their control group included infants who died from asthma, infections, heart failure, and other deaths that we now know are related to vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficient infants are similar to vitamin D deficient adults. They can die from multiple different vitamin D related diseases. One deficient woman gets heart disease while another gets breast cancer. Vitamin D deficient infants are the same; some do not die, some die from infection, some from asthma, and some from SIDS.

  About: John Cannell, MD

Dr. John Cannell is founder of the Vitamin D Council. He has written many peer-reviewed papers on vitamin D and speaks frequently across the United States on the subject. Dr. Cannell holds an M.D. and has served the medical field as a general practitioner, emergency physician, and psychiatrist.

2 Responses to Vitamin D deficiency in SIDS

  1. jbruno@jamadots.com says:

    Dr. Cannell,
    Thank you for the work you do and the information you provide.

  2. As with other animals from light challenged regions, there is an advantage in delivering babies in the spring if you are not living in a modern society w/ SPF and a morbid fear of the sun. Sarc. off