Vitamin K for babies

By Thomas B.

Image of Vitamin K for Babies.

There is much controversy about giving vitamin K to babies after the first injection at birth. So I decided to write this article to give out some quick facts about what vitamin K actually does, where it comes from and what problems low vitamin K levels can cause.

Vitamin K is a collective name for many different types of coagulations vitamins. The most important effect vitamin K has is to keep the blood coagulation correct. Vitamin K was discovered after scientific test on chickens. A Danish scientist named Henrik Dam found that chicken that didn’t get the vitamin in their diet started to get bleeding diseases. And after more experiments he found vitamin K. But Vitamin K has also shown to have effect on the building of bone structure and the immune system. 

To have insufficient vitamin K is very rare, because type 2 of vitamin K is produced in the stomach, and can be found in some degree in most food. There is particularly much vitamin K in spinach, broccoli and soya. Vitamin K is fat soluble and can be stored in the body. The stored vitamin K is used up very quickly, so even if it can be stored to some degree, babies need a steady intake of the vitamin.

Babies are given an injection of vitamin K at birth because their intestine is sterile and cannot produce vitamin K. This is to prevent bleedings that can occur when babies have insufficient amounts of vitamin K.

Vitamin K has no known side effects, except for persons who are taking blood thinning, in which case studies have shown that large intakes of vitamin k can reduce the effect from the medicine. Vitamin K is also used in antidotes against several rat poisons, because most rat poisons generally has a very blood thinning effect.

So babies can use the extra vitamin K directly after birth, but then as soon as the baby gets sufficient food and her intestine gets active, the vitamin K is rarely a problem.
Vitamin K is so usual that it is very rare that babies get insufficient amounts even after leaving breast milk and formula for solid food, this is also much because the largest amounts are produced by the baby itself in the intestine.

You can read more about vitamin K on this page, vitamin K for babies 

If you notice that your baby have small bleedings from mouth of nose, you should immediately contact you doctor. There are different types of vitamin K related bleedings, and some of them come a few weeks after birth. This bleedings can also be internal and very serious.