Vitamin k deficiency

the picture is about vitamin k deficiency

Vitamin k deficiency is a condition in which the body is lack of vitamin k. Office of dietary supplements ODS claims that the shortage of vitamin k is rare in the United States. The native of the united state gets enough vitamin K from their diets. However, infants can have a deficiency of vitamin K. if somebody is taking blood-thinning drugs like warfarin must take an equal amount of vitamin k every day.

By reading this article, you’ll be able to know the functions of vitamin k, symptoms, and cure of vitamin k deficiency.

What is vitamin k?

Vitamin k is an essential nutrient for health. It is crucial for blood clotting, and for bones, Vitamin k is present in two forms.

  • Vitamin K1 is also known as phyllo Quinone, formed in leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale.
  • Vitamin K2 is also known as menaquinone, present in animal-based food such as butter egg yolks and fermented substance like kefir. Our intestine also produces a bit of it.

Both forms of vitamin k produce a protein that in return, help in blood clotting. Blood clotting is beneficial in preventing excessive blood loss, both internally and externally.

If somebody is deficient in vitamin K, it means the person’s body cannot make enough of this vitamin k which increases the risk of excessive blood loss. Most adults gain enough vitamin k from their food and what their body produces. Some medical conditions occur, which reduces the vitamin k production in the body and its absorption from food so, the person becomes vitamin k deficient.

types of vitamin k

But there are more chances of vitamin k deficiency in infants when it occurs it is known as vitamin k deficiency bleeding or VKDB.

Causes and risk factors

Especially Older adults are at the risk of vitamin k deficiency nowadays. Because they use antibiotics and medicine according to their medical conditions for example


  • They take anticoagulants or blood thinners which may clot in blood and stop the activation of vitamin k
  • Older adults use antibiotics which also affect the production of vitamin K.
  • There is a diet is the lack of enough vitamin K.
  • Sometimes taking an extra dose of vitamin A or E.
  • They take sleeping pills that also affect the activation of vitamin K.

Moreover, other conditions also affect the production of vitamin K in the body, for example, when your body is not absorbing fat. This condition is known as malabsorption.

Conditions linked with malabsorption

  • Cystic fibrosis or mucoviscidosis
  • Celiac disease or gluten-sensitive enteropathy
  • Any intestinal disorder like gallbladder bile duct and liver disorder
  • Any damage in the intestine

Moreover, newborn babies are at the risk of vitamin k deficiency due to the following reason:


  • Baby could not get enough vitamin K from mother
  • There is a low vitamin in breast milk
  • The baby liver is not working efficiently to use vitamin k
  • Sometimes baby gut does not make vitamin k2 in the first week


First of all, your doctor will ask you about your medical history to see the risk factors.

diagnosis of vitamin k deficiency

For the diagnosis of vitamin k, you have to go for a proper coagulation test. The doctor will take your blood sample and include chemicals to note how much time it will be a clot.


‘Typically blood takes 11 to 13 seconds to clot but if they see it is taking a too long time it is showing you have vitamin K deficiency.

Note: don’t take high vitamin K foods before taking this test


There are the following symptoms of vitamin k deficiency

bleeding from man arm


  • Excessive bleeding when you get any cut on your skin. Bleeding does not stop easily
  • Having blood clots under the nails
  • Usual marks on the skin
  • Bleeding in the mucous membrane
  • Blood in stool and stool colour is dark black
  • Excessive bleeding during menstrual periods

The signs of vitamin k are different for newborn babies. Here are some signs

  • excessive Bleeding from the area where the umbilical cord has removed
  • Bleeding at the penis in the case of baby boy
  •  brain haemorrhage which is very risky
  • Bleeding in the different parts like nose, skin, tract, and gastrointestinal tract
Newborn babies and vitamin k deficiency

Deficiency of Vitamin k can be avoided by the administration of vitamin k at birth as a shot. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that 0.5 to 1mg of vitamin k1 should be given to a child at birth. A vitamin k shot becomes mandatory under certain conditions. The risk factors for vitamin k deficiency bleeding are the following.

Portrait of a sleeping newborn hold at hands. Family, healthy birth concept
  • premature birth
  • Use of ant seizure drugs, anticoagulants, or drugs for tuberculosis by mother.
  • Malabsorption of fat due to gastrointestinal or liver disease in babies.

But it ultimately depends on parents whether they want their babies to receive this injection. Expert suggests the injection because it can prevent problems like intracranial haemorrhage, brain damage or babies’ death.


If a deficiency of vitamin k occurs in a person, then the health care provider gives them a vitamin k supplement known as phytonadione.


Usually, a person takes these supplements orally. Injections are also available for the person whose body is less able to absorb the supplement through the mouth. The dose of vitamin k depends on the age and health status of a person. Usually, the quantity of phyllo Quinone is 1 to 10 mg for adults and can be repeated after 12 hours.

Daily requirements and sources of vitamin K

According to ODS recommendations, vitamins are essential for health. the adults should take the following amount of vitamin k per day.

vitamin k suppliments
  • 90 micrograms (mcg) for women
  • 120 micrograms (mcg) for males

There are following foods that are rich in vitamin k naturally

  • All green vegetables like kale, lettuce, spinach, broccoli, and fenugreek
  • Vegetable oils like sunflower oil, corn oil, canola oil, corn oil and safflower oil.
  • Some fruits are rich in vitamin k like figs and blueberries
  • Other foods like eggs, cheese, chickpeas, and soybeans
  • All kinds of green tea
Food * Vitamin k amount(mcg)
Avocado ½      21
limes      90
kiwi      28
Brussels sprouts    118
Turnip Green    425
Tuna 75g      33
Kale    565


People also can use vitamins k supplements. Always choose the right brand of vitamin k supplements if you have vitamin k deficiency. But always try to contact your doctor first before taking any vitamin k supplements.


Vitamin k deficiency is rare in adults because adults take enough amount of vitamin k from their daily diet. But in some people deficiency of vitamin k occurs if they don’t treat lack of vitamin k than it will cause a severe problem like bleeding from different areas body.

Moreover, a balanced diet also prevents you from vitamin k deficiency. So try to add vitamin k rich food in your diet.

2 thoughts on “Vitamin k deficiency”

  1. so i was searching about vitamin k deficiency. and found this amazing article. very informative for those who are suffering from vitamin k deficiency. thanks

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