Body & Mind
Vitamin-K deficiency causes excessive bleeding
Coagulation, also known as clotting, is the most effective defense against bleeding in humansby which blood changes from a liquid to a gel, forming a blood clot. It's important for the blood to clot quickly when a blood vessel has broken. But in the absence of active vitamin K, the coagulation factors mostly yielding from the liver are not produced resulting serious bleeding tendencies.
Vitamin K is continually synthesized in the intestinal tract by bacteria, so vitamin K deficiency rarely occurs in healthy persons as a result of the absence of vitamin K from the diet. But, in persons with the gastrointestinal disease, vitamin K deficiency often occurs as a result of poor absorption of fats from the gastrointestinal tract because vitamin K is fat soluble and is generally absorbed into the blood along with the fat.
Therefore, diseases of the liver including hepatitis, cirrhosis, and yellow atrophy inhibit to secrete bile,a darkgreen to the yellowish-brown fluid is produced by the liver, into the gastrointestinal tract, resulting inpoor vitamin K absorption that impedes the synthesis of clotting factors by the liver.
There are several symptoms associated with vitamin K deficiency, but the main one is excessive bleeding. Excessive bleeding may not be immediately evident, as it may only occur if a person is cut or wounded. Additional signs of excessive bleeding can also includebruising easily, small blood clots appearing under the nails, stool that is dark black, tar-like, or contains blood.
Signs of vitamin K deficiency in newborn babies and infants may including bleeding in the skin, nose, gastrointestinal tract, or other areas, sudden brain bleeds, which are deemed severe and potentially life-threatening.
If a person is diagnosed with vitamin K deficiency, they will be given a vitamin K supplement which is generally taken orally, though it can also be given as an injection if a person has difficulty absorbing the oral supplement.
Efficient blood clotting is especially important in childbirth, since the mother and infant bleed from the trauma of birth. Consequently, pregnant women may be advised to take vitamin K supplements to ensure fast clotting, and newborn infants may be given vitamin K injections.
There is no set amount of vitamin K that you should consume each day. But on an average day, nutritionists consider 120 mg adequate for men and 90 mg adequate for women.
The richest vegetable sources and the main dietary sources of vitamin K include leafy green vegetables, especially collards, spinach, turnip greens, some salad greens, and broccoli. Oils and margarine from plants represent the second major sources of vitamin K.
A single shot of vitamin K at birth can prevent a problem in newborns.