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Deficiency Of Vitamin K Can Cause These Serious Health Issues

By: Chandreyee Sen

Like all the other nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin C, carbohydrate, protein, etc., vitamin K also holds a significant position in our body.

Vitamin K plays an important role in coagulation, commonly known as blood clotting. Blood clotting is important for preventing internal and external bleeding.

Excessive blood flow can have a detrimental effect on your health. Vitamin K produces a protein that works together to initiate the process of clotting. This nutrient is sub-categorized as vitamin K1 and vitamin K2.

Vitamin K1 is usually found in leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale, while vitamin K2 is a naturally occurring nutrient in the human intestinal tract.

vitamin k deficiency

Deficiency of vitamin K is mostly seen in individuals who are nowadays more engrossed in junk and processed foods rather than having leafy green vegetables.

However, only in sporadic cases, it is visible in adults. Vitamin K deficiency is mostly seen in infant and is termed as Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding (VKDB).

But when this deficiency is seen in adults as well, it can pose some serious health issues. Some of these are discussed below.

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1. Heart Problem:

Vitamin K2, the naturally occurring substance in the human intestinal tract is directly connected with the arterial calcification. A deficiency in this vital vitamin from the body can lead to suboptimal carboxylation and biologically inactive matrix carboxylated glutamate protein (MGP), which increases the risk of cardiovascular ailments in humans. It is seen that approximately 57 percent individuals die due to cardiac arrest caused by the deficiency of vitamin K2. So, it is important to consume foods that are rich in vitamin K like leafy green vegetables.

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2. Cancer:

Death is an unforeseen situation that can come anytime. But a number of patients these days are dying due to the deadly disease - cancer. However, Vitamin K has anti-cancerous properties that can prevent its occurrence. But a deficiency in vitamin K can lead to an increased risk of cancer. Such type of a cancer usually affects the lungs, breast, colorectal, and prostate glands. A study on individuals from age group 35-64 showed that people with a deficiency of vitamin K showed higher risk of prostate cancer than others. Thus, it is essential to have vitamin K-enriched food in your daily diet.

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3. Osteoporosis:

Vitamin K is a vital nutrient for the human body, as it not only helps in blood coagulation but also activates vitamin K-dependent protein that further aids in arterial calcification and bone metabolism. Clinical research shows that Vitamin K is vital for your bone health and a deficiency of this can lead to osteoporosis, especially in people above the age of 40, when your bone starts to degenerate. Consume spinach, kale, meat, etc., that contains a high amount of vitamin K.

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4. Excess Bleeding:

Vitamin K is important for preventing both internal and external bleeding. This protein module activated by vitamin K aids in blood coagulation or blood clotting. Therefore, a deficiency in this can lead to excessive bleeding even from a simple injury. Immense loss of blood can adversely affect your health, leading to anaemia and cardiac arrest at times. So, to help your body naturally clot the blood, it is imperative that the level of vitamin K is maintained in the body.

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5. Easy Bruising:

At least once in a lifetime, all of us have experienced injury caused by bruises. But a person who has a lower level of vitamin K is likely to develop easy bruising that can lead to excessive bleeding due to vitamin K deficiency. Studies reveal that people who consume broccoli, lettuce, etc., which have a high amount of vitamin K are less likely to have easy bruising.

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6. Poor Bone Health:

After the age of 40 when your bones start to degenerate, it is essential to take preventive measures. Weak bone health often leads to fragile bones, which increases the risk of fracture. The vitamin K-dependent protein aids in bone metabolism and helps the bones to stay strong, even with your increasing age.

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7. Ageing:

Looking older than your age? Well, this can be a sign of the lower level of vitamin K in the body. Vitamin K is not the factor behind the newly formed wrinkles on your skin, but a deficiency of this can lead to other ailments like weak bone health, cardiovascular problem, etc., which can make you look older than your age. This vitamin deficiency prohibits you from leading a normal, active, and healthy lifestyle and induces the process of ageing at a younger age.

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8. Birth Defects:

Vitamin K deficiency is mostly seen in case of infants. Under such circumstances, such deficiency becomes responsible for congenital disabilities such as undeveloped bones, face, nose, or fingers, neural tube defect, disability in learning, growth deficiency, cardiac problems, etc. Even medications such as those related to anti-convulsant and seizure can counter the benefits of Vitamin K and lead to impairment. So, it is imperative to keep a check on its level, especially for toddlers.
So, these are some of the ailments that vitamin K deficiency can cause to your health. Thus, it is to be remembered that like most other nutrients, Vitamin K is vital for the human body, especially due to its blood coagulation properties. A deficiency in this vital vitamin can wreak havoc. Have vegetables, especially the leafy green and dark green ones and dietary supplements that contain adequate amount of vitamin K, which can aid you to live an active and healthy life.

Read more about: vitamin k, heart, cancer, bone
Story first published: Friday, November 24, 2017, 15:30 [IST]
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