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Bottle of cod liver oil, London, England, 1939-1955

Cod liver oil is rich in vitamins A and D, which are essential vitamins for bone growth. A lack of these vitamins causes rickets, a condition where the leg bones become soft and twisted. Vitamins A and D are also found in eggs, milk and liver. Bottles of cod liver oil were given out by the Ministry of Food during and after the Second World War to ensure that all children and adults were getting vitamin A and D in their diets at a time when some foods were rationed or in short supply. Unpleasant to the taste, a spoonful of cod liver oil was something endured by many thousands on a daily basis.

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Glossary: rickets

A condition caused by a lack of vitamin D. Characterized by soft and deformed bones, which can lead to an increased number of injuries.

Glossary: cod liver oil

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