Nutrition Blog

The term ‘vitamin K’ refers to a collection of fat-soluble vitamins that perform a function in blood clotting, bone metabolism as well as regulating blood calcium levels. The body requires vitamin K in order to produce prothrombin (which is a protein) as well as a clotting factor which is significant in blood clotting as well as bone metabolism. Individuals who take blood-thinning medications, such as Warfarin or Xarelto, should not begin to take extra vitamin K without first consulting a doctor.

What are the causes of a vitamin K deficiency?

The most widespread reasons for a vitamin K deficiency:

  • Poor diet,
  • Insufficient absorption,
  • Decreased storage of the vitamin owing to liver disease,
  • Decreased production of Vitamin K in the intestines.

A deficiency of vitamin K is rare in healthy individuals. However, it is relatively common in those who are severely ill or who have certain chronic conditions:

  • Cancer patients who are getting chemotherapy,
  • Patients who are on chronic dialysis patients, and
  • People who present risks for malnutrition, for example those with a poor diet and are alcoholics or abuse drugs.

What are the signs and symptoms of a vitamin K deficiency?

The signs and symptoms that are related to a vitamin K deficiency may include:

  • Bruising easily
  • Discharge from the nose or gums
  • Extreme bleeding from wounds, punctures as weak as injection or surgical sites
  • Heavy menstruation
  • Bleeding coming from the gastrointestinal tract
  • Blood present in the urine and/or stool

With respect to vitamin K deficiency bleeding in new-born babies, the signs and symptoms may be similar to those listed above. However, in more serious cases such a deficiency may also involve bleeding within the skull.

A vitamin K deficiency may be suspected when the symptoms listed above appear in someone who is at a higher risk, for example:

  • Those who happen to be suffering from a chronic condition that is related to malnutrition or malabsorption.
  • Those who have taking long-term antibiotic treatment as this medication can kill the bacteria that help to produce vitamin K2 in the small intestine.
  • Patient who are seriously ill, such as cancer or dialysis patients.

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What foods are high in vitamin K?

The following list of foods are high in vitamin K:

  • Kale (cooked)
  • Mustard Greens (cooked)
  • Swiss Chard (raw)
  • Collard Greens (cooked)
  • Natto (Fermented Soybeans)
  • Spinach (raw)
  • Brussels Sprouts (cooked)
  • Beef Liver
  • Pork Chops
  • Chicken
  • Goose Liver Paste
  • Green Beans (cooked)
  • Prunes
  • Kiwi
  • Soybean Oil
  • Hard Cheeses
  • Avocado
  • Green Peas (cooked)
  • Soft Cheeses

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Contact Trifocus Fitness Academy 

Want to learn more about nutrition? Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Specialised Nutrition Course is the perfect qualification for you to do this! Follow this link for more information.

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