This news broke some months ago but has been reported again this week, and my recent reading of the GcMAF threads made it seem like an interesting development...because rickets is a condition of Vitamin D deficiency, and as we're well aware (but others seemingly are not), vitamin D deficiency is not necessarily caused by lack of sunlight... Global Health Watch: Rickets showing up in some British children http://www.latimes.com/health/boost...ts-britain-20110119,0,2247926.story?track=rss "Rickets, a bone disease caused by vitamin D deficiency and which used to stalk the poverty-stricken slums of 19th century England, has reappeared in modern Britain. In the southern port city of Southampton, Tyler Atrill, 12, an active girl who always played outside in one of the sunniest areas of Britain, was diagnosed with rickets last November, the Telegraph reported this week. Tyler's mother Lisa, who is a nurse, told the newspaper that her daughter had been suffering severe leg pains for three years and was finally diagnosed with a disease thought to have disappeared from Britain in the 1920s. Tyler is one of more than 40 children treated for rickets in the last year by Southampton General Hospital. Dr. Nicholas Clarke, an orthopedic surgeon from the hospital, said the phenomenon was "quite astonishing. We are seeing cases across the board, from areas of deprivation to the middle classes. ... This is almost certainly a combination of the modern lifestyle, which involves a lack of exposure to sunlight and covering up in sunshine." Lisa Atrill said she covered her children in sunscreen whenever they went out in bright sunshine. There are no official figures, but doctors around the country say a number of cases have sprung up in recent years. Last year the British Medical Journal published findings of the spread of the disease in the United Kingdom, quoting a survey showing "more than 50% of the adult population have insufficient levels of vitamin D and that 16% have severe deficiency during winter and spring. Particularly at risk are people in northern England and Scotland, where statistics of other bone-related diseases, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis are higher than in England. In September, the Scottish government launched a campaign advising people to take vitamin D supplements to make up for the lack of sunshine." A few things to note... - Dr Clarke claims to have discovered this cluster of rickets cases, but the findings are - of course - controversial (since they are unexpected). This report goes further than I have read before and says that "doctors around the country say a number of cases have sprung up in recent years". So it would seem to be a more widespread, and thus a genuine, phenomenon. - It is most interesting, then, that there appears to be something of a cluster of cases in Southampton that has been identified. - Despite Tyler's mother's assertion that her daughter - one of the rickets cluster patients - was "an active girl who always played outside in one of the sunniest areas of Britain", Dr Clarke imagines (without, apparently, any evidence beyond his knowledge that rickets is caused by lack of sun and people don't get out much these days) that "This is almost certainly a combination of the modern lifestyle, which involves a lack of exposure to sunlight and covering up in sunshine". A quick consideration of the logic of this hypothesis will reveal that this explanation doesn't fit the facts at all and has very poor explanatory power - although it is the first, most obvious, and most conventional assumption for the medically trained - but the possible alternative explanations are far more interesting.... - One can easily imagine how doctors and researchers will now spend a lot of time and money investigating the levels of exposure to sun of those affected, by asking them a whole load of leading questions about how much time they spend outside, how often they use sunscreen etc...and then go on to focus research on this hypothesis with continuing confirmation bias...as well as focusing research on supplementation treatments rather than on trying to find the cause... - "Particularly at risk are people in northern England and Scotland, where statistics of other bone-related diseases, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis are higher than in England." - most interesting, since those areas of high MS incidence, and high incidence of other ME-related conditions, are already of great interest, and this geographical pattern remains a big clue to...something...though not, I expect, to the genetic factors or levels of sunlight that have generally been assumed and investigated so far...Southampton (on the south coast) is NOT where you would expect your first rickets cluster for a century...instead, perhaps we should be looking towards the distribution of viral strains for an explanation... Anyway...the point of posting this is to suggest a possible connection to the early GcMAF findings, where it seems that ME non-responders to GcMAF treatments (20%) are those who have a mutation in a gene involved in the Vitamin D receptor. Since we are coming from an experience where vitamin levels are deficient, not due to lack of eating the right foods, but instead due to malabsorption, methylation blocks, and consequent deficiencies of the relevant enzymes...and since we know that genetic factors almost certainly play into those deficiencies but that a chronic infection likely also plays a role...then we have a ready-made hypothesis for this rickets resurgence, which is not what the scientists will be thinking about right now, and that's the combination of a virus/retrovirus with genetic weaknesses related to Vitamin D absorption/synthesis. If the rickets resurgence is to be explained, after a century of eradication, during which time plenty of people have spent much of their lives away from the sun and not got rickets, and if rickets is occurring in clusters now, then we are looking for something environmental and/or infectious (most likely viral) that somehow interacts or interferes with Vitamin D absorption...and that's the most logical thing to be considering in relation to rickets, in light of the evidence available about this resurgence - so it's more than interesting that the early XMRV/ME/GcMAF research is pointing towards exactly that... I do think that our best hope (after the WPI) may turn out to be breakthroughs in other conditions like MS or Alzheimer's, which may well end up unlocking the secrets of ME along the way. The slightly worrying thing is to look at those areas of medicine, informed by some knowledge of ME/CFS, to see a series of quite natural hypotheses to explain how they could all be connected, and then to realise that those kinds of hypotheses are barely being considered at all in any of these other conditions either! But still, I've been really, really struck by developments re: Alzheimer's and Multiple Sclerosis in recent months, because more and more it seems that all kind of neurological conditions and so-called "mental illness" conditions may ALL be related by a common pattern - and the key to understanding that pattern may turn out to be the lifecycles of viruses and retroviruses that infect the nervous system. There's now decent evidence of the presence of an unknown virus or viruses in MS, Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, and ME/CFS. These may well turn out to all be the same virus, or a related familiy of viruses, and indeed it may even turn out that all these viruses are in fact XMRV - the WPI-reported findings of XMRV in other patient populations do seem to be pointing in that direction... It's a really exciting possibility: maybe, just maybe, we are on the brink of understanding the viral and retroviral etiology of the whole range of "mental" (nervous system) diseases. The scale and significance of such a breakthrough would be immense!