Causes of Vitamin K deficiency
Worldwide, vitamin K deficiency can cause an increase in childhood morbidity and mortality. Deficiency of vitamin K causes hemorrhagic disease of the newborn, which usually manifests itself on the 1-7th day after birth. In such newborns, birth trauma can cause intracranial hemorrhage and bleeding. Newborns are prone to vitamin K deficiency, because:
- the placenta is relatively poor in lipid and vitamin K;
- the synthesis of prothrombin in an as yet immature liver is imperfect;
- in breast milk, a low vitamin K content is approximately 2.5 μg / l (cow milk contains 5000 μg / l) and
- The intestines of newborns are sterile during the first few days of life.
Late hemorrhagic disease (3-8 weeks after birth) is usually associated with breastfeeding, malabsorption or liver disease. If the mother took anticonvulsant drugs of the phenytoin group, anticoagulants of the coumarin group or antibiotics of the cephalosporin series, the risk of developing both types of hemorrhagic disease increases.
In healthy adults, vitamin K deficiency is rare, because vitamin K is widely distributed in green vegetables, and intact intestinal bacteria synthesize menaquinones. Blockage of the biliary tract, malabsorption, cystic fibrosis and small bowel resection contribute to vitamin K deficiency.
Anticoagulants of the coumarin group interfere with the synthesis of vitamin K-dependent coagulation factors (II, VII, IX and X) in the liver. Certain antibiotics (especially certain cephalosporins and other broad-spectrum antibiotics), salicylates, vitamin E supernodes and hepatic insufficiency increase the risk of bleeding in patients with vitamin K deficiency.
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