Posted By: CustomVite Nutrition Team Date: September 3, 2018 Comments: 0

Although bruising is a normal process following injury, these familiar, unsightly, purple marks can be caused by a variety of other factors that do not involve trauma to the skin.  Aging, certain medications, and vitamin deficiencies can all affect how easily your body bruises. Of course, prolonged, unexplainable bruising, especially those that last more than a couple of weeks, may warrant a doctor’s visit, so keep alert to any changes to your body. Nevertheless, if all serious causes have been ruled out, you may want to consider your diet, specifically your vitamin C, K and iron intake.  If these nutrients are lacking in your diet, you may start to notice more bruises, more often.  Here’s how they work:

 

Vitamin C helps to supply oxygen to injured cells and thus can help to heal wounds.  A severe deficiency can result in collagen defects and bleeding disorders, such as bruising.  Vitamin C also helps to enhance iron absorption. Vitamin C can be found in many food sources such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, potatoes, Brussels sprouts and cantaloupe.

 

Vitamin K helps your blood to clot and therefore encourages healing. A severe deficiency may cause bleeding and bruising, because without this essential nutrient, blood takes longer to clot. Vitamin K can be found in many food sources such as green leafy vegetables like kale and broccoli, blueberries, meat and eggs.

 

Iron enables the body to make red blood cells, and by means of hemoglobin, carries oxygen through the blood. One particular type of anemia, aplastic anemia, is when your body has a lower than normal number of platelets. Since platelets are necessary to stop bleeding, people with a low platelet count tend to bruise more easily than those with a normal platelet count.  Rich sources of iron can be found in meat and seafood, along with fortified breakfast cereals, and legumes, just to name a few.

 

If you feel like your diet is lacking in these nutrients, try increasing your food sources first, and then if the issue is unresolved, you may want to consider nutritional supplementation* to help fill in the nutrient gaps.

 

 

*Iron supplements should only be consumed if a deficiency is identified

 

References

(1) Aplastic Anemia. (n.d).  Retrieved from https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/aplastic-anemia

(2) Balch, P. A. (2010). Prescription for nutritional healing: The A-to-Z guide to supplements. New York, NY: Avery

(3) Harrison et al. (2017). Investigating easy bruising in an adult.  The BMJ, doi: 10.1136/bmj.j251.

(4) Iron (2018, March 2). Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iron-HealthProfessional/

(5) Thrombocytosis (2016, October 25). Retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/13350-thrombocytosis

(6) Vitamin C (2018, March 2). Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/

(7) Vitamin K (2016, April 13). Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminK-Consumer/

(8) Wartian Smith, P. (2008). What you must know about vitamins, minerals, herbs & more. Garden City Park, NY: Square One Publishers.


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