Kids and adults found lacking in vitamin D

Greenwich (Conn.) Time/Stamford Advocate—June 24, 2010

To say Sebastian Oe is active could be an understatement. The 12-year-old Greenwich resident skateboards, runs and, of course, roughhouses with his three older brothers. But last year, when Sebastian fractured his arm twice in the same place in skateboarding and snowboarding falls, his doctor wondered if a lack of vitamin D could be the culprit.

Sure enough, when Dr. Shevaun Doyle -- a pediatric orthopedic surgeon with Hospital for Special Surgery, which has an office in Old Greenwich -- received Sebastian's blood test results, she found he had an insufficient level of vitamin D.

Doctors and nutritionists are seeing children and adults deficient in a vitamin that, aside from creating stronger bones, may be associated with reduced risks of some cancers and other ailments.

Doyle said she has seen more children with broken bones who have low levels of vitamin D. She recommended Sebastian take supplements, which he does every night with dinner.

"It's the exception that I find a kid who does break a bone that doesn't have a borderline level of vitamin D," Doyle said.

Sebastian's mother, Anja Vaisanen, said she was surprised because her kids are healthy eaters.

"We are kind of sticklers with that," Vaisanen said. "We do eat home most of the time, and we eat good, balanced diets."

Vaisanen also doesn't slather her sons in sunscreen every time they go outside.

Earlier this month, Sebastian fell while playing with a friend and got a hairline fracture in one of his hands. While Doyle said she doesn't know for sure if there's a correlation with his vitamin D levels, the supplements can only help.

Read the full story at greenwichtime.com.

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