Vitamin D deficiency rickets and vitamin B12 deficiency in vegetarian children

Acta Paediatr Scand. 1985 Mar;74(2):191-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1985.tb10948.x.


During the years 1978-83 four vegetarian children have been admitted to the pediatric departments of Ullevaal and Aker Hospitals in Oslo and Haukeland Hospital, Bergen, with the diagnosis of vitamin D deficiency rickets. One had vitamin B12 deficiency as well. All had been fed a vegetarian diet with some cows' milk, but without vitamin supplementation. All had marked hypocalcemia, and three had tetany or convulsions. All responded well to conventional doses of vitamin D therapy. Two of the mothers had vitamin D deficiency, and one of them also had vitamin B12 deficiency. This report describes the case histories of these children, and also discusses predisposing factors of vegetarian diets for the development of nutritional rickets.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diet, Vegetarian / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Male
  • Rickets / etiology*
  • Risk
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency / etiology*