8 Health risks of vitamin K deficiency
Vitamin K is an essential nutrient that keeps the heart and bones healthy besides playing a crucial part in other bodily processes. Vitamin K deficiency can cause serious health risks.
Heart problems is one of the common complications of vitamin K deficiency. Hardening of arteries is one of the most common factors in coronary artery disease and heart failure. Vitamin K2 helps to keep calcium out of your artery's linings and other bodily tissues, where it can cause damage and harden arteries.
If you are pregnant and deficient in vitamin K, it can affect the new-born baby or foetus as well. Vitamin K deficiency may result in internal bleeding (in the skull), malformed fingers, and under-developed facial features. It is because of this reason that pregnant women are given vitamin K in the form of food supplements.
One of the health risks in vitamin k deficiency is weakening of bones. Vitamin K2 is as important as calcium when it comes to maintaining bone health. It not only improves bone density but offers a protective effect of vitamin K2 against osteoporosis.
A study published in the International Journal of Oncology found that treating lung cancer patients with vitamin K2 slowed the growth of cancer cells. Moreover, studies have shown vitamin K’s benefit in treating leukaemia, liver cancer, colon, stomach, nasopharynx and oral cancers.
Vitamin K deficiency can lead to malabsorption such as celiac disease, tropical sprue, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, ascariasis, short bowel syndrome, etc due to multiple abdominal surgeries, bacterial overgrowth and chronic pancreatitis.
Blood coagulation and haemorrhages
One of the symptoms of vitamin K deficiency is defective blood coagulation and haemorrhages. Deficiency of this vitamin reduces prothrobin content of blood, making you suffer from blood clotting as a result.
Anaemia is one of the complications of nutritional deficiency of vitamin K. Among other prominent signs of vitamin K deficiency are prolonged clotting and haemorrhaging.
Biliary tract disease
Biliary tract disease describes any disease that affects the biliary tract – the gall bladder, bile ducts and accompanying structures. It is one of the complications of vitamin K deficiency.
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