An 11-month-old infant, who only ate a type of almond-based baby formula with no vitamin C, developed scurvy, a new report of his case stated.
The parents brought the baby to the doctor because he had lost a lot of weight, was very irritable, and cried whenever someone tried to move his legs. When he was seven months old, the infant managed to sit up by himself. However, his condition aggravated, and by the time he turned eleven months old he was unable to walk.
Test results showed that the baby had fractures in his thigh bone; he also had bone loss and extremely low levels of vitamin C, according to the report.
Soon after, the boy was diagnosed with scurvy – a conditions resulting from a deficiency of vitamin C. Humans need vitamin C in their diet to produce collagen, a protein that is found in bone, cartilage, teeth, skin, blood vessels, and so on.
The mother stated that until the boy turned 2.5 months old she had fed him cow’s milk-based formula. Because that baby developed a skin reaction, a doctor advised the mother to change her child’s diet. The mother then fed the baby a beverage made mostly of almond milk, sesame powder, almond flower, and a cereal mixture, the report of his case wrote.
Even though it had some nutritious values, the beverage still lacked some important vitamins, including vitamin C, doctors said.
Researchers from Hospital Universitario y Politécnico La Fe in Valencia said that both parents and paediatricians should be aware that beverages that are plant-based cannot replace infant formula or breastfeeding, and that they are not a complete food source.
It is recommended that infants consume about fifty to sixty milligrams of vitamin C each day. They can get it from regular baby formulas, breast milk, or vegetables and fruits, according to the report. After the infant reached six months old, the mother tried feeding him pureed vegetables and fruits, but he would not eat them.
The child received an oral vitamin C and D treatment, and was fed fruits and vegetables, infant formula, and cereals. The child’s symptoms improved after a few months, his vitamin C levels got back to normal, and he was able to walk.
Scurvy is a quite rare condition, especially in developed countries, but it can sometimes occur mostly in infants and in older people.
The report on the boy’s case was published Monday (Jan. 18) in the journal Pediatrics.
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