Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin crucial for many body functions. There are two forms of natural vitamin K – vitamin K1 and vitamin K2. While vitamin K 1is obtained from our diet, vitamin K2 is produced in the large intestine by the healthy bacteria. Vitamin K deficiency is very rare in adults though it is sometimes seen in infants as their bodies are not able to make this vitamin and their diet also lacks this vitamin.The daily recommended dose of vitamin K is 90mcg/day. People who lack in this vitamin can be given shots of synthetic vitamin K or oral pills, depending upon the severity of the disease. Vitamin K occurs naturally in spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, whole wheat bread, turnips, etc.
Vitamin K Deficiency Symptoms
The major symptom of vitamin K deficiency is bleeding. In fact, easy bruisability and mucosal bleeding are two major symptoms of vitamin K deficiency.
Since vitamin K plays a crucial role in clotting blood, its deficiency can lead to bleeding problems, which include, bleeding in gums, nose bleeds, easy bruising and heavy menstrual bleeding. Sometimes, this deficiency can also lead to bleeding in digestive tract and blood in urine.
Vitamin K plays a very important role in maintaining bone density as it helps the bones in their function of absorbing calcium. Its deficiency can lead to weak bones leading to frequent fractures, osteoporosis and weakening of bones.
Hardening Of Heart Walls And Arteries
Deficiency of this vital vitamin leads to excessive deposition of calcium in soft tissues. Sometimes, due to calcification, the walls of the heart get hardened which affects the cardiovascular system of the body and can lead to serious health problems.
Health Problems In New Born Babies
A deficiency of vitamin K can result in malformation in the fetus like malformed limbs, underdeveloped ears, nose and other facial features. Vitamin K plays a crucial role in overall development of a fetus and hence eating foods high in vitamin K is very important for pregnant women.
Patients suffering from vitamin K deficiency are at the risk of developing some other diseases like cystic fibrosis due to pancreatic insufficiency, anemia caused by excessive bleeding, biliary obstruction, resection of the small intestine, etc. Vitamin K deficiency can be avoided by eating foods rich in vitamin K like leafy greens, eggs, oils like soyabean, cottonseed, olive, etc. The doctor prescribes oral pills or shots for those people who are affected with vitamin K deficiency.
Any medication meant to recover from vitamin K deficiency must be taken under medical supervision as its overdose can cause some serious complications. Vitamin K taken in natural form through foods does not go toxic but overdose of synthetic vitamin K can cause problems for your health as it gets toxic in the body.