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Milk gets a "D".

Vitamin D, found naturally only in a few foods (including the seriously disgusting cod liver oil), has been routinely added to milk since the 1930s. Too little of this crucial vitamin can lead to bone weakness and rickets, but too much of the vitamin can lead to symptoms ranging from fatigue to urinary-tract stones 10 kidney malfunction--and, in infants, the condition known as "failure to thrive," which can lead to death.

Of eight patients admitted to New England hospitals with vitamin D overdoses, none was taking vitamin supplements, the usual source of such overdoses. But all eight routinely drank milk from a single dairy. And when doctors tested samples of the milk, they were shocked to find that it had up to 500 times the vitamin D level marked on file label and recommended by the FDA.

And a wider study covering 13 brands of milk in five eastern states turned up levels either well below or appreciably above the suggested dosage. Infant formulas tended to be the highest, while some skim milk had no D at all.

The doctors, whose report appeared in the May issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, don't recommend eliminating vitamin D from milk; that was tried in England, and rickets cases shot up. But they do say milk monitoring, which is the state's responsibility, has got to be done much more often, and more carefully.

--From TIME, 5/11/92 [Editor's Note: A "former dairy farm kid" informed us that, "Milk is irradiated (i.e., nuked) to 'get the vitamin D in.' Of course, it's very easy to irradiate too much. This also explains why 'store milk' never tums sour but just rots."

She also noted that she never drank irradiated milk and still doesn't (buying from organic farms) and doesn't have rickets. Maybe it's the lack of sun in England.]
COPYRIGHT 1992 Association of Labor Assistants & Childbirth Educators
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Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:vitamin D levels
Publication:Special Delivery
Date:Sep 22, 1992
Words:309
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