Kamis, 05 Desember 2019

Causes and Effects of Vitamin K Deficiency

Vitamin K deficiency is usually experienced by newborns. But sometimes, vitamin K deficiency can also affect adults. People who lack these nutrients can experience a number of serious health problems, especially bleeding. Vitamin K is a vitamin that plays an important role in producing substances in the body to support blood clotting. Vitamin K deficiency can be identified by the appearance of symptoms in the form of easy bruising, frequent nosebleeds, and dark stools with blood spots. Sometimes blood spots are also found under the nails. In infants, vitamin K deficiency can increase the risk of bleeding. This bleeding can occur in baby's organs, such as brain hemorrhage and digestive tract. In addition, vitamin K deficiency in infants can also cause growth and development obstacles and bone growth disorders. Therefore, babies need to get vitamin K injections after they are born. Vitamin K is divided into 2 types, namely:
  • Vitamin K1, also known as phylloquine, is vitamin K which comes from plants (food).
  • Vitamin K2, also known as menaquinone, is vitamin K produced by good bacteria in the intestines.

Causes of Vitamin K Deficiency in Adults and Babies

Vitamin K deficiency is very rare in adults. This condition is more commonly experienced by newborns. In adults, vitamin K deficiency can be caused by the following conditions:
  • Have a poor diet and rarely eat foods high in vitamin K.
  • Take blood thinning drugs, such as coumarin. Blood thinning drugs can interfere with the production of proteins that play a role in the process of blood clotting.
  • Undergoing treatment with antibiotics can reduce the production and effectiveness of vitamin K in the body.
  • Suffer from impaired absorption of nutrients or malabsorb This condition you can experience when suffering from celiac disease, cystic fibrosis, and disorders of the intestine or bile duct. Malabsorption can also occur due to side effects from surgical removal of the intestine.
Whereas in infants, vitamin K deficiency can occur due to:
  • Babies do not get enough vitamin K intake while still in the womb, because of abnormalities in the placenta or the mother is deficient in vitamin K during pregnancy.
  • The content of vitamin K in breast milk (ASI) is very small.
  • The baby's intestine has a problem, so it does not produce vitamin K.
To find out the exact cause of vitamin K deficiency, both in adults and infants, it is necessary to be examined by a doctor. To find out if a patient has vitamin K deficiency, the doctor will do a blood test to assess the level of vitamin K and blood clotting function.

What are the effects of Vitamin K deficiency?

Vitamin K deficiency can cause a number of health problems, including:

Heavy bleeding

The body needs vitamin K to produce certain proteins that play a role in the process of blood clotting. When the body lacks vitamin K, the production of substances that function to coagulate blood will decrease. As a result, you are more at risk of experiencing heavy bleeding.


Besides its role in the process of blood clotting, vitamin K also has an influence on bone health and strength. Some research shows that lack of vitamin K can reduce bone density, so you are more at risk of osteoporosis.

Heart disease

Findings from a number of studies explain that vitamin K also plays a role in maintaining healthy blood vessels of the heart. Therefore, people who lack vitamin K have a higher risk for heart problems, such as coronary heart disease.

How to Meet the Need for Vitamin K

Vitamin K needs for each person are not the same, depending on age, sex, and general health conditions. Adults are recommended to get vitamin K intake of 50-65 micrograms / day. Whereas the recommended intake of vitamin K for children and adolescents is 35-50 micrograms / day. In infants, the recommended intake of vitamin K is 5-15 micrograms / day. The need for vitamin K can be met by consuming:
  • Fruits, such as avocados, mangoes, grapes.
  • Soybeans.
  • Vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli, turnips, kale, cabbage, and spinach.
  • Meat.
  • Egg.
To meet the needs of vitamin K, the baby can begin to be given some of the above foods when he is allowed to consume MPASI. Apart from food, vitamin K can also be obtained by taking vitamin K supplements. However, the dose needs to be consulted first with your doctor. This is to prevent excess vitamin K which is also not good for health.

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