Healing rickets. Coloured X-ray of the strengthening bones in the bowed legs of a child recovering from rickets. The skeleton of the legs appears deformed; the long bones of the limbs are severely curved. Rickets is caused by a dietary deficiency of vitamin D. Vitamin D is necessary for the uptake of calcium from food; without it not enough calcium salts are deposited in the bones to make them rigid. Vitamin D is synthesised in the skin when exposed to ultraviolet light. The deficiency can therefore also be caused by lack of sunlight. Vitamin D supplements can restore normal bone growth, and with such treatment bone deformities disappear as the child grows.
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