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Symptoms or Diseases With a Lack of Vitamin K

By Jill Andrews

Vitamin K is an important nutrient that plays a role in blood clotting and bone health. It is rare to have a deficiency in vitamin K. This is because vitamin K can be readily obtained from leafy green foods and is also made from bacteria in your intestines. gums or nose. A deficiency may be the result of malabsorption problems, celiac disease, cystic fibrosis, Crohn's disease, blood thinning drugs, or serious burns. For a healthy body, adults should consume 90 mcg/day of vitamin K.

Increased Bleeding

A deficiency in vitamin K could result in a disruption in your body's ability to form blood clots. As a result, you are at risk for excessive bleeding. Symptoms of this can include bleeding in the form of nosebleeds, blood in your urine or stool, tarry black stool, or heavy menstrual bleeding. Bruising is also a sign of blood clotting problems.

Deficiency In Newborns

Newborn babies who are solely breastfed have a greater risk of vitamin K deficiency. This is because human milk contains less vitamin K compared to formula. Newborn infants can be low in vitamin K, because vitamin K cannot move across the placental barrier easily, the newborn's intestinal region does not contain bacteria that make vitamin K, and also because vitamin K is not completely functional in newborns. This could result in a disorder called vitamin K deficiency bleeding, or VKDB, in which the newborn is at risk for life-threatening bleeding. Because of this, an injection of vitamin K, a synthetic form of vitamin K, must be given to all newborns in the U.S.

Poor Bone Health

Your bones require vitamin K in order to use calcium properly. This is important because calcium helps build and maintain the strength and integrity of your bones. A greater level of vitamin K in your body is associated with a greater bone density, while a lower level is associated with osteoporosis. Osteoporosis, which is a bone disorder characterized by weakened bones, can put a person at increased risk for fractures and falls.

Food Sources

To meet your vitamin K recommended daily intake, you can find this vitamin in a supplement or in many foods. Consult your doctor about whether a supplement could benefit you. Good dietary sources include green, leafy vegetables such as kale, turnip greens, broccoli, dark green lettuce, asparagus, cabbage, and spinach. The green color in these plant sources is due to the presence of chlorophyll, and this is the substance that supplies vitamin K. Other good sources include green tea and beef liver.

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