Doctors in Spain have diagnosed an 11-month old baby in Spain with scurvy. The doctors said the disease is as a result of feeding the baby with almond milk alone, reports kfvs12.com.
Experts say when babies are fed with plant-based beverages alone as diet in the first year of life and not taken as a supplement to formula breastfeeding; it could lead to major nutritional problems.
Scurvy is a rare disease, which is caused by a deficiency in vitamin C, with babies with restricted diet being the most vulnerable.
“Breast feeding is the optimal nutrition for babies up to one-year-of-age,” said Jane Read, who is a registered nurse and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant at Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau.
The baby in question was said to have drank almond milk exclusively from the time he was two months and two weeks old to 11 months. According to the report, the baby with scurvy had fractures to his leg, failed to flourish, and without any form of attraction.
Read said mother’s milk has the right amount of nutrition, which includes carbs, proteins, minerals, vitamins, and antibodies from their moms.
“Beginning at birth, the mother’s milk has the right amount of nutrition, which is proteins, carbs, minerals, vitamins, and antibodies from the mom that are very important for the baby.” Read said. “Babies don’t get any immunizations until they are two-months-of-age.”
“Babies need fats to develop their brain and it’s very important they have higher amount of fats in them,” Read said. “That is one a reason you wouldn’t want to go with almond milks and because they didn’t have the vitamins and nutrition and it caused brittle bones and issues with the bones.”
However, there are improvements after three months of treatment with vitamin C replacement therapy.
The report further added that scurvy is a new and severe complication of improper use of almond drinks for infants.
The report therefore recommended that manufacturers of almond milk indicate that they are inappropriate for babies who consume a vitamin C–deficient diet.
“A plant-based milk, like almond milk, can be suitable for an adult who is getting the vitamins and nutrition in other ways,” Read said. “Whereas, with a child, who’s only form of nutrition…is with [breast] milk, they aren’t getting those vitamins and nutritional needs like they would be getting from formula. So, they’re gonna be lacking. Which is what happened with the baby with the almond milk. That baby was lacking in vitamin C and then it was depleted in the body and then showed up with signs in weakness in the bones.”
“Maybe, that baby had a milk allergy, and maybe they tried almond milk instead,” Read said. “I’m not sure how available formulas were to that family that was experiencing that problem.”
Read advised that breastfeeding is the best to give a baby when it comes to nutrition; and it is recommended that a mother feeds her infant for one year and even longer—adding that the first six months should be without any other food.