Key Points

  • Osteoporosis
  • Bleeding
  • Clotting issues

Vitamin K Deficiency


Vitamin K is also known as Menaquinone. It is sourced from dark green vegetables and is also derived from the bacteria within the intestines. The benefits of vitamin K include increased bone density (1,2). Cardiovascular health is another benefit of Vitamin K which reduces the stiffness of arteries which can improve circulation (3,4). 

There are other suggested benefits of vitamin k which include anti cancer properties and improved insulin sensitivity (5,6). Vitamin K has also been found to work well when taken with vitamin D (7,8).  Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin and so should be taken with a meal containing fat or a supplement that includes fatty acids. 


Issues that arise with a lack of vitamin K can depend on the severity of the deficiency. When it is severe it can result in a condition called Thrombocytopenia which can cause issues with bleeding particularly in the gums, increased nosebleeds and increased menstrual bleeding (9). This is due to the blood not being able to clot as quickly. Osteoporosis may be another condition that can develop due to a reduction in bone strength.

It is recommended that you consume 1 microgram per kg of body weight. An example of this would be if someone weighed 80kgs it is recommended that you take 80 micrograms.


1 – Booth, S. L., Dallal, G., Shea, M. K., Gundberg, C., Peterson, J. W., & Dawson-Hughes, B. (2008). Effect of vitamin K supplementation on bone loss in elderly men and women. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 93(4), 1217-1223.

2 – Knapen, M. H. J., Drummen, N. E., Smit, E., Vermeer, C., & Theuwissen, E. (2013). Three-year low-dose menaquinone-7 supplementation helps decrease bone loss in healthy postmenopausal women. Osteoporosis International,24(9), 2499-2507.

3 – Kuwabara, K., Pinsky, D. J., Schmidt, A. M., Benedict, B., Brett, B., Ogawa, S., … & Wang, F. (1995). Calreticulin, an antithrombotic agent which binds to vitamin K-dependent coagulation factors, stimulates endothelial nitric oxide production, and limits thrombosis in canine coronary arteries. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 270(14), 8179-8187.

4 – Shearer, M. J. (2000). Role of vitamin K and Gla proteins in the pathophysiology of osteoporosis and vascular calcification. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care, 3(6), 433-438.

5 – Ishizuka, M., Kubota, K., Shimoda, M., Kita, J., Kato, M., Park, K. H., & Shiraki, T. (2012). Effect of menatetrenone, a vitamin k2 analog, on recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma after surgical resection: a prospective randomized controlled trial. Anticancer research, 32(12), 5415-5420.

6 – Sakamoto, N., Nishiike, T., Iguchi, H., & Sakamoto, K. (2000). Possible effects of one week vitamin K (menaquinone-4) tablets intake on glucose tolerance in healthy young male volunteers with different descarboxy prothrombin levels. Clinical Nutrition, 19(4), 259-263.

7 – Iwamoto, I., Kosha, S., Noguchi, S. I., Murakami, M., Fujino, T., Douchi, T., & Nagata, Y. (1999). A longitudinal study of the effect of vitamin K 2 on bone mineral density in postmenopausal women a comparative study with vitamin D 3 and estrogen–progestin therapy. Maturitas, 31(2), 161-164.

8 – Ushiroyama, T., Ikeda, A., & Ueki, M. (2002). Effect of continuous combined therapy with vitamin K 2 and vitamin D 3 on bone mineral density and coagulo fibrinolysis function in postmenopausal women. Maturitas, 41(3), 211-221.

9 – Innis, M. D. (2008). Vitamin K deficiency disease. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, 23(1), 15-20.