TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Parents, listen up. Over six-million American children are not getting enough Vitamin D, and this can lead to some pretty serious health problems. We met one little boy who overcame a disease caused by Vitamin D deficiency.
When eight-year-old Jordan Brooks was born, his parents noticed something wasn't right.
"We noticed that he was starting to walk more on his ankles...rather than his feet," said his mom, Cheryl Brooks.
It wasn't long before his legs were bowed. His mom described them as a perfect set of parenthesis.
"They [felt] kind of bendy and kind of twisted," Jordan said.
Doctor Meg Reitmeyer diagnosed Jordan with rickets, a bone disease caused by a lack of Vitamin D.
"It's primary effect on the body is to keep your bones healthy," she said. "It helps take the calcium that you get from your diet and pills and moves it into your bones to build strong bones."
A recent study, the first done on kids, found that 20 percent of children under age 11 don't get enough Vitamin D. Dr. Reitmeyer said good sources of Vitamin D are sunlight and dairy products.
"That is one of the reasons we are seeing it is because people don't drink milk like they used to - especially kids," said Reitmeyer. "People don't go out in the sun as much as they used to. When they do, they wear clothes or SPF 50 sunscreen."
Jordan was breast fed, but Dr. Reitmeyer says his mom's milk wasn't enough.
"She was not taking a lot of supplemental vitamins herself and breast milk is only as good as mom is able to make," she said.
Jordan's parents didn't give up hope. He was put on a strict vitamin regimen and visited the doctor regularly.
"His legs began to straighten," said Mrs. Brooks.
Jordan can now do what he loves most: running.
"I think because his legs have straightened up, he runs more than the average kid," said Mrs. Brooks.
And, nothing gets in his way. Dr. Reitmeyer says children should have 400 units of Vitamin D a day, and that most children's vitamins meet this recommendation.