What Is Vitamin K?
Vitamin K2 or menaquinone, which occurs in animal-based foods, including butter and egg yolks, and fermented foods, such as kefir. Both vitamin K1 and vitamin K2 produce proteins that help the blood clot. Blood clotting or coagulation prevents excessive bleeding internally and externally.
If a person has a vitamin K deficiency, that means the person’s body cannot produce enough of these proteins, increasing the risk of excessive bleeding. Certain medications and medical conditions can reduce vitamin K production and inhibit absorption, meaning adults can become deficient. Vitamin K deficiency is much more likely to occur in infants.
When it does, it is known as vitamin K deficiency bleeding or VKDB.
Physiology Of Vitamin K Deficiency
Remely inadequate intake, fat malabsorption, or use of coumarin anticoagulants. It impairs clotting.
In affected neonates, birth trauma can cause intracranial hemorrhage. A late form of this disease can occur in infants about 2 to 12 weeks old, typically in infants who are breastfed and are not given vitamin K supplements.
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Iency is not common in adults, but can be serious because it stops the blood clotting properly.
Why Is Vitamin K Important?
Adults usually have enough vitamin K because the normal bacteria in the gut produce it. It is also in the fat of much of the food that we eat. Vitamin K is stored in the liver, so you don’t need a lot of it every day.
See this separate article for important information on babies and vitamin K.
Vitamin K deficiency symptoms
Not having enough vitamin K in the body can make someone bruise more easily than usual. It can also make periods heavier. Vitamin K deficiency diagnosis
If your doctor suspects you have vitamin K deficiency, they may ask you to have a blood test to confirm it.
If that is not possible, you can have a blood test to check how well your blood clots. You might also have other tests if there are other issues to investigate. The best source is dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, parsley, broccoli, kale, cabbage, brussels sprouts and salad greens.
Vitamin K deficiency treatment
If you do not have enough vitamin K, you’ll be asked to eat more of the foods listed above. It may help if you see a dietitian. Your doctor might also prescribe vitamin K supplements.