Diarrhea related to vitamin K deficiency

The reduction in number of intestinal bacteria is profoundly influence the occurrence of diarrhea. It is related to the concentration of vitamin K in our body since the intestinal bacteria play a significant role in synthesizing vitamin K. Deficiency of vitamin K in baby with diarrhea is probably more frequent and more severe in developing countries due to the possibility in increasing of malnutrition and lack of vitamin K supplementation at birth. Deficiency of vitamin K does not occur in healthy babies given a normal diet. Those are several cause of vitamin K deficiency, such as insufficient intake, failure of synthesis due to a shift in the bacterial flora caused by diarrhea or administration of antibiotics, and decreased absorption from the intestinal tract.

According to Bern C, et al. (1992), there is a relationship between diarrheal illness and vitamin K deficiency. In term of vitamin K is able to prevent acute and intractable diarrhea, vitamin K has an important role in blood coagulation, so it can prevent bleeding in diarrhea baby. In this case, vitamin K influences the improvement of prothrombin time and activated prothrombin time and also influences the increasing of coagulation factors.

Now, it is known that vitamin K can prevent the bleeding in baby with diarrhea. But, according to Shearer, et al., the level of vitamin K in human milk is low. Also, Branchet, et al., reported that vitamin K deficiency is more frequent among breastfed infants who have diarrhea. Those are indicate that whether baby or mother who are breastfed their babies should consume vitamin K supplement to fulfill the baby’s needs on vitamin K.

Vitamin K is found chiefly in leafy green vegetables such as spinach, swiss chard, and Brassica (e.g.cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, andbrussel sprouts); some fruits such as avocado and kiwifruit are also high in Vitamin K. By way of reference, two tablespoons of parsley contain 153% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin K. Some vegetable oils, notably soybean, contain vitamin K, but at levels that would require relatively large caloric consumption to meet the USDA recommended levels. Phylloquinone (vitamin K1) is the major dietary form of vitamin K. Menaquinone-4 and Menaquinone-7 (vitamin K2) are found in meat, eggs, dairy andnatto. MK-4 is synthesized by animal tissues, the rest (mainly MK-7) are synthesized by bacteria during fermentation. In natto 0% of vitamin K is from MK-4 and in cheese 2-7%. (Wikipedia)


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