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Vitamin K ~ Fact, Myths & Controversies

Vitamin K shots are routinely administered to newborn babies in U.S. hospitals, birth centers and by some home birth midwives because 1.8 out of every 100,000 babies who do not receive vitamin K injections suffer permanent injury or death due to uncontrolled bleeding in the brain (hemorrhagic disease of the newborn) that may be the result of having extremely low levels of vitamin K in their systems.


The observation that natural levels of vitamin K are low in newborns and that vitamin K does not pass into the placenta suggests that their physiologies are fine-tuned to keep this vitamin low initially.

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Vitamin K is produced by bacteria, including the flora found in our gut. However, a newborn’s gastrointestinal tract is typically sterile for a few days after birth. The body's production of Vitamin K and, therefore, clotting factors, begins by the fourth day of life, giving babies their ability to clot blood. This is why newborns are typically given Vitamin K injections shortly after birth in hospitals and some birth centers. However, parents should know that the vitamin K injections administered to newborns are synthetic and thus may contain benzyl alcohol or other chemical preservatives. Furthermore, the only known reported cases of vitamin K toxicity result from having used this synthetic form.


While some Home Birth midwives may administer this synthetic, injectible Vitamin K, the majority of midwives prefer to offer ORAL Vitamin K drops, a food source, glycerin-based, liquid formula given by way of the mouth.

Pictured at the left:
Biotics Research Corp Bio-K-Mulsion (K1-phytonadione) oral Vitamin K.

Order a 1/2 oz. bottle of liquid, oral vitamin K for your baby.
Order this infant liquid, Oral Vitamin K here...



The HBMS regimen** for administration of oral Vit K is as follows:.
                    ** HBMS oral Vitamin K regimen is based on this statement & this statement.
         Additional information used to develop this regimen...


Maternal vitamin K supplements of 5mg/day (800% RDA) has been shown in one study to raise infant serum levels to near formula-fed levels
. Breastfeeding mothers pass Vitamin K through their  breast milk to their newborns. Nursing women can take a daily Vitamin K2 supplement to provide Vitamin K to their babies.

At right:
Carlson's
Vitamin K2 (Menatetrenone)
5 mg tablets
Order this maternal vitamin K supplement here...




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The Dark Side of the Routine
Newborn Vitamin K Shot




Mercol
a.com interviews Dr. Cees Vermeer, PhD
Associate Professor of Biochemistry
at the University of Maastricht (The Netherlands)




AquaMEPHYTON (injectable Vitamin K) Package Insert:

Phytonadione is 2-methyl-3-phytyl-1, 4-naphthoquinone. Its empirical formula is C31H46O2

AquaMEPHYTON injection is a yellow, sterile, aqueous colloidal solution of vitamin K1, with a pH of 5.0 to 7.0, available for injection by the intravenous, intramuscular, and subcutaneous routes. Each milliliter contains:

Phytonadione ................................................................................................ 2 mg or 10 mg

Inactive ingredients:
Polyoxyethylated fatty acid derivative ...................................................................... 70 mg
Dextrose .................................................................................................................. 37.5 mg
Water for Injection, q.s................................................................................................. 1 mL
Added as preservative:
Benzylalcohol ............................................................................................................ 0.9%
* Registered trademark of MERCK & CO., Inc.

Warnings:

Benzyl alcohol as a preservative in Bacteriostatic Sodium Chloride Injection has been associated with toxicity in newborns. Data are unavailable on the toxicity of other preservatives in this age group. There is no evidence to suggest that the small amount of benzyl alcohol contained in AquaMEPHYTON, when used as recommended, is associated with toxicity.


 Articles, Links & Resources


Controversies Concerning
Vitamin K and the Newborn

AAP Committee on Fetus and Newborn
PEDIATRICS Vol. 112 No. 1 July 2003, pp. 191-192









Vitamin K at Birth: To Inject or Not
Linda Foldman Palmer, DC  May 26, 2004





February 16, 2009

Marcia L. Buck, PharmD, FCCP

Published: 10/01/2001






PEDIATRIC
PHARMACOTHERAPY
A Monthly Newsletter for Health Care Professionals
from the Children’s Medical Center ~ UVA


Vitamin K for the Prevention
of Bleeding in Newborns
Marcia L. Buck, Pharm.D., FCCP
Vol 7 ~ No. 10 ~ October 2001
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