Vitamin K deficiency is a rare condition in which the body does not produce the necessary proteins that enable blood to properly clot. This condition is more likely to affect newborns than adults, although many adults consume a diet deficient in vitamin K.
8. How Vitamin K Functions in the Body
There are two types of vitamin K. Phylloquinone, or vitamin K1, is found in leafy green plants. Menaquinone, or vitamin K2, can be found in certain meats. Vitamin K2 may also be produced by bacteria in your gut or intestinal tract. According to the National Institutes of Health, vitamin K is critical for proper blood clotting and maintaining strong bones. When your body lacks the necessary amount of vitamin K, you may be at risk for excessive bleeding.
7. Risk Factors for Vitamin K Deficiency
You may be at risk for vitamin K deficiency if you do not consume leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, or broccoli. A diet extremely low in fat can also cause vitamin K deficiency, as this vitamin requires fat for proper absorption. The Merck Manual reports that certain anti-seizure medications and antibiotics can trigger vitamin K deficiency. Furthermore, individuals who consume extensive amounts of mineral oil may not be able to properly absorb dietary vitamin K. Lastly, diseases such as celiac disease or cystic fibrosis can place an individual at risk for vitamin K deficiency.