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No longer easily bruised: due to vitamins, probably vitamin D

For decades my wife had easily bruised.

2010: For the past 4 months, my wife has been taking 10,000 IU of vitamin D daily and has had lots of improvement in her health.
Last night she sustained a severe bump, which in the past would have caused a 20-square-inch portion of skin to be black and blue.
This morning - no bruising, whatever.
I looked on the internet and found the clippings, which are at the end of this page.
In summary, the internet wisdom indicates:

  • bruising might be decreased by increasing the use of vitamin K (K1, K2, K4?), vitamin C, vitamin D, bioflavonoids, and Zinc
  • bruising might be decreased by decreasing the use of blood thinners such as Ginko, aspirin, Coumadin
  • bruising is a fact of life getting old (but note that most seniors are very vitamin D deficient)

We are in our 60s and live in the Pacific NW, and she is overweight - so she had three reasons to be at risk for being low on vitamin D

97-year-old father-in-law has been taking 5,000 IU daily for 3 months and has now noticed less bruising on the backs of his hands (along with other improvements)
Note: he is no longer taking aspirin daily - which is known to increase bruising

Update Feb 2013: Not bruised: unsure Vitamin D3, Vitamin K2, and Vitamin C

My wife has been taking all three supplements for 2 years now.
She just had a major fall off our tandem bike (due to a car running into our bike)
Virtually no bruising!!!
(By the way: she is now 70 and has been taking 10,000 IU of vitamin D3, 180 micrograms of K2, and 1 gram of Vitamin C daily for > 1 year.
Her father is now 100, no longer bruises, and has been taking 15,000 IU vitamin D3 for > 1 year along with an ultra Bone-up brand of cofactors)

Update May 2015: same supplements, still no bruising

clippings from the Internet 2010

When the human skin gets damaged, the underlying soft tissue turns red or black-and-blue, and the resulting discoloration in the skin is called a bruise - bruising is the term applied to any damage suffered by the skin which leads to some change in the color of the skin. Bruises often change in color largely dependent on the depth of the bruise; thus, the color of the bruise may change from yellow to green. This change in coloration occurs because of chemical decomposition in the affected area of the skin. The change is thus a result of the removal of dead cells and the replacement of the tissues by the body itself. The time taken for the affected area of the skin will depend on the severity of the bruise and the type of blow or impact that caused the injury. Full recovery from a bruise may therefore take from days to weeks, with various factors, such as depth of injury dictating the rate of healing in the tissue.

Heal Bruises and Burns
It is perfect for bruises, bumps, swelling, burns, scalds, blemishes, discoloration, and sunburn.
The breakage in blood vessels and the subsequent leakage of blood into the skin cause the actual discoloration of tissues at the site of the bruise. Thus deep and true bruises can be the result of sprains, serious falls, or broken bones, while superficial bruising can come about because of bumps, pinches, or suction on the surface of the skin. Certain individuals have a greater susceptibility to developing bruises on their bodies following an injury. The presence of disorders like anemia and obesity in the individual increases the chances of bruises occurring after injury. Additionally, easily bruised skin can indicate brittleness in the walls of the blood vessels or some deficiency in the blood-clotting factors of the individual. The presence of a serious disorder like leukemia is possible if the person develops bruises on the surface of the skin without good cause suddenly. Bruises are also much more likely to occur in individuals if the blood-platelet levels are low as a result of using some blood-thinning medications - anticoagulants to treat other unrelated disorders. Bruises also occur in some individuals without any apparent cause, and in hemophiliacs, bruising may occur in the soft tissues surrounding the joints quite suddenly without external causes due to internal hemorrhages. An individual lacking in essential nutrients like vitamin C and bioflavonoids is also likely to suffer from brittle blood vessels, and he or she will be very prone to developing bruises even from minor injuries.

To ensure that the body receives adequate amounts of the blood-clotting agent vitamin K, make sure that the diet contains abundant quantities of dark green and leafy vegetables, including alfalfa sprouts. Another essential mineral, iron, is also found in abundant quantities in such foods, and this mineral is very important for its ability to combat anemia, which is probably a very important factor in the formation of bruises in some cases. The body builds up strong capillaries utilizing vitamin K and vitamin C along with bioflavonoids-citrus fruits are very rich in these compounds, and diets must include abundant quantities of these fruits. Another nutrient important in the clotting of blood is vitamin D; this vitamin is manufactured on the skin with the aid of sunlight, and a good food source of this vitamin is through the consumption of fatty fish such as mackerel and salmon.

Supplements and herbs
A body lacking in vitamin C is prone to be easily bruised and much slower in its ability to bring about recovery in the affected region of the skin. Vitamin C and bioflavonoids work together within the body and exist in nature within the same types of food. Supplements of the vitamin C formula must, therefore, always include bioflavonoids to maximize the person's benefit. Healing and recovery from bruises are also accomplished by vitamin E, and this vitamin is also responsible for bolstering the body and preventing easy bruising in the human skin. The antioxidant action of both vitamins C and E, in addition, prevents free-radical damage to the tissues on the site of injury and increases the rate of cell and tissue reconstruction. The healing in the site of the bruise is also accelerated by another supplemental compound called bromelain - this can also be taken as a supplemental measure against

Bruises http://www.mothernature.com/library/bookshelf/books/10/38.cfm

Fading Out the Black and Blue
Trip over a crumpled rug, and you've got one. Bump into the bedpost, and you've got one. Forget you left that bottom drawer open, run right into it as you hurry to answer the phone, and ouch! You've got a really bad one. We've all had our share of bruises. It takes just one good, swift blow, and the blood vessels beneath your skin rupture, spilling blood into the surrounding tissues and creating the colorful palette of blacks, blues, purples, yellows, and greens we know as a bruise. For the bruise to heal, the body must reabsorb all of that spilled blood, which, depending on the extent of the damage, could take days or even weeks.
Though bruising is no more than a minor, albeit uncomfortable, inconvenience for most of us, for others, particularly the elderly, it can be a Technicolor nightmare. As skin ages, it becomes thinner and more fragile, a condition that is exacerbated by years of sun exposure. As a result, the underlying blood vessels are more vulnerable to damage. For this reason, older people frequently develop what is known as purpura senilis- -bruises on their hands, arms, and sometimes legs that occur from the slightest contact and that take months to heal.
"Virtually everybody in their seventies and eighties develops this problem to some extent," says Melvin L. Elson, M.D., medical director of the Dermatology Center in Nashville, co-author of The Good Look Book and editor of Evaluation and Treatment of the Aging Face.
If you're prone to bruising, basic first-aid treatment can help you heal. Apply an ice pack, wrapped in a towel, on and off for the first 24 hours, followed by warm compresses the next day. If you really want to give bruises the old heave-ho and make yourself less "bruisable" in the future, however, the mineral zinc and a dollop of cream fortified with vitamin C or Vitamin K are the way to go, say many experts. For extra protection, they advise boosting your dietary intake of these nutrients as well.

Food Factors
When it comes to bruising, vitamins C and K seem to be getting the lion's share of attention. Some researchers, however, believe that bioflavonoids -chemical compounds related to vitamin C and found in fruits and vegetables- may deserve a second look.
Say okay to citrus. Eating plenty of oranges and other citrus fruits can boost your level of rutin, a bioflavonoid that was singled out by researchers in the 1950s as one that could help strengthen fragile capillaries and minimize the bruising that often accompanies this condition.
"It's important to remember, however, that though this compound may prevent some bruises from occurring, it isn't good for the treatment of a bruise after it has occurred," says Varro E. Tyler, Ph.D., professor of pharmacognosy at Purdue University School of Pharmacy in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Rutin is also found in plentiful supply in buckwheat. So here's a good excuse to enjoy a hearty breakfast of buckwheat pancakes.

Vitamin K to Chase the Blues Away
Vitamin K, named after the German word coagulation, has long been used to promote blood clotting and prevent bleeding, particularly in cases of aspirin poisoning or blood-thinner overdose. It's also a favorite among plastic surgeons, who use large doses on their patients to prevent post-surgery bruising.
Now these benefits are accessible to the general public as well. Research shows that applying Vitamin K topically can fade away bruises, even those occurring from purpura senilis.
In a study of 12 people with significant bruising, Dr. Elson, a longtime Vitamin K investigator, applied Vitamin K cream to one arm of each patient and an identical cream without Vitamin K to the other. After one month, the arms treated with Vitamin K had significantly fewer bruises than those treated with plain ointment.
"We also had people use Vitamin K cream on one side of a bruise but not on the other and found that the side treated with Vitamin K healed in 5 to 7 days, while the untreated side took 11 to 13 days to heal," says Dr. Elson.
Moreover, Vitamin K strengthens blood vessel walls, so it also makes you less prone to bruising, explains Dr. Elson, who has developed a 1 percent Vitamin K cream called Vitamin K Clarifying Cream. "I've had elderly patients tell me that for the first time since they're older, they can go outside with short sleeves on," he says. Vitamin K Clarifying Cream is available only through a physician, so if you'd like to try some "bruise guard," check with your doctor.
The logical question, of course, is: If Vitamin K works when you rub it on, can you also ward off bruises by eating more Vitamin K-rich foods such as green, leafy vegetables, fruits, seeds, and dairy products? "There's no absolute proof, but studies seem to indicate that you can," says Dr. Elson.
Even though getting plenty of Vitamin K -the Daily Value is 80 micrograms -may be helpful, when you have a bruise or an area prone to bruising, you want large doses of Vitamin K right where you need them, and the best way to get them there is topically, says Dr. Elson.

Prescriptions for Healing
Some experts agree that certain vitamins and minerals can not only heal bruises but also prevent them. Though these nutrients work best at clearing up bruises when applied as topical creams, oral supplements may be helpful in warding off bruising as well. Here's what some doctors recommend.
Nutrient Daily Amount/Application
Vitamin C 500-1,000 milligrams
Vitamin K 80 micrograms
Zinc 15 milligrams
Vitamin C 10% lotion (Cellex-C)
Vitamin K 1% cream (Vitamin K Clarifying Cream)
MEDICAL ALERT: Frequent inexplicable bruising, although rare, may be a sign of a clotting disorder or an immune problem, or a side effect of some medication. If you find yourself bruising easily and frequently, you should see your doctor.

Vitamin C Can Help
Vitamin C, the scurvy-fighting nutrient that's abundant in citrus fruits and broccoli, may also help strengthen the collagen (skin tissue) around your blood vessels and help battle bruises.
"Although studies still need to be done, there is some evidence that supplemental vitamin C at the level of 500 to 1,000 milligrams per day is quite useful against the bruising of old age," says Sheldon Pinnell, M.D., chief of dermatology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina.
"The medical literature indicates that beginning at age 55 or 65, people can become vitamin C-depleted," says Dr. Pinnell. "It's not clear whether this depletion is caused by a lack of intake or a problem with absorption, but it appears that supplemental vitamin C can take care of it."
For even better results, try a topical form of vitamin C, says Dr. Pinnell, who, along with his colleagues, has developed a 10 percent vitamin C lotion called Cellex-C. During tests where they applied the lotion to one side of the faces of people with some discolored spots but not to the other, the preparation produced a "dramatic diminution" of bruising injury, says Dr. Pinnell. "By using the lotion, you get 20 to 40 times the level of vitamin C that you could achieve by ingesting the vitamin."
The lotion may be especially useful for the elderly, says Dr. Pinnell, as they are at particular risk for vitamin C deficiency and for the skin problems such as bruising that occur as a result. Cellex-C is available without a prescription from dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and licensed aestheticians (full-service beauty salon operators) and by mail order from Caleel-Hayden, L.L.C., 518 17th Street, Suite 1700, Denver, CO 80202 (1-800-235-5392).

Zinc Lends a Helping Hand
Although its role in bruise healing is not as well-researched or well-defined as those of vitamins C and K, the mineral zinc is known to lend a hand in wound healing and may help with bruises as well.
"Zinc is important in wound healing and skin repair, but it's probably more important for older people," says Lorraine Meisner, Ph.D., professor of preventive medicine at the University of Wisconsin Medical School in Madison.
You can get your Daily Value of zinc (15 milligrams) by filling your plate with shellfish and other seafood as well as with whole grains and lean meats. In fact, just one steamed oyster contains a whopping 12.7 milligrams of zinc.
Note: Frequent inexplicable bruising, although rare, may be a sign of a clotting disorder or an immune problem or a side effect of some medication. If you find yourself bruising easily and frequently, see your doctor.

Is Easy Bruising One Of The Consequences Of a Vitamin K Deficiency?

By Carolyn Cooper Jan 2, 2010
Are you someone who gets unexplained bruises all the time? Do you bruise dramatically even when the bump that caused the trauma is very light? If so, one thing that you might be suffering from is a vitamin K deficiency.
If frequent, easy bruising is a problem affecting you, you need to face it head-on, and you will learn that a vitamin K deficiency could be the reason. Vitamin K deficiency is a condition that can occur at almost any age, but young children and pregnant women are the primary candidates for the condition. Is this something that could be affecting you?
How do you determine if you have a vitamin K deficiency? To understand this condition, you first need to learn how your body uses vitamin K. Vitamin K exists at its most basic level to help your blood coagulate, and it is also necessary to help provide you with proper bone density. Without sufficient vitamin K, your blood will experience difficulty in clotting, and the safe development of the fetus in pregnant women will likely be impaired. Obviously, a vitamin K deficiency can lead to some very negative consequences.
A vitamin K deficiency can be seen in the side effects of heavy menstrual bleeding, anemia, nose bleeds, hematomas, and general thinness of the blood. If you are deficient in vitamin K, you will find that you can suffer easy bruising, even to the point of not realizing where you got a bruise in the first place. A vitamin K deficiency can lead to all types of problems that are directly related to your blood's inability to clot properly. Are you suffering from any of these symptoms? If you are, consider whether vitamin K deficiency is the source of your problems.
How do you know if you are dealing with a vitamin K deficiency? Fortunately, vitamin K deficiency is not usually a concern for fully mature adults because vitamin K can be obtained from a variety of different foods, but keep in mind that anticonvulsants can limit the manner in which they work within your individual system. People who have trouble with the absorption of fat can also be likely to suffer from vitamin K deficiency. Eating more soya beans, wheat bran, cereals, cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli can increase the amount of vitamin K available to your system.
Of course, we all want to stay as healthy as we can, so if you are wondering if you are being affected by vitamin K deficiency, there are a number of things that you should keep in mind. Pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you, so be diligent. If you determine that you have a vitamin K deficiency, you will need to consider what supplements and foods will help you sooner rather than later, particularly if you are concerned about the easy bruising that can be one of the obvious vitamin K deficiency symptoms.
One way to avoid vitamin K deficiency is to follow a daily supplement program like Bruises Be Banned, which contains vitamin K and several other essential ingredients to help you reduce bruising or prevent bruising altogether.
About the Author, Carolyn Cooper is known as a renowned expert on bruise treatment through a combination of her educational expertise in nutrition and her real-life expertise with nutritional supplements for athletes, ranging from children to the professional ranks. Get a free Special Report on bruising causes and see what she's done to get us beyond the heartaches of easy bruising and prevent bruising.

Easy bruising: Common as you age By Mayo Clinic staff

Find out what causes easy bruising as you age and when you should discuss your bruises with your doctor.
Yet another bruise. What caused that dark, unsightly mark on your leg? You don't recall bumping into anything. But lately, you've been bruising much more often than you used to. Should you be concerned?
It's common to experience easy bruising with increasing age, and most bruises go away without treatment. Still, easy bruising can sometimes be a sign of a more serious problem.

Age-related causes of easy bruising in older adults
Most bruises form when small blood vessels (capillaries) near your skin's surface are broken by the impact of a blow or injury. When this happens, blood leaks out of the vessels and initially appears as a bright or dark red, purple, or black mark. Eventually, your body reabsorbs the blood, and the mark usually disappears.
Some people, especially women, are more prone to bruising than others. As you get older, several factors may contribute to increased bruising, including:

  • Aging capillaries. Over time, the tissues supporting these vessels weaken, and capillary walls become more fragile and prone to rupture.
  • Thinning skin.

With age, your skin becomes thinner and loses some of the protective fatty layer that helps cushion your blood vessels against injury. Excessive exposure to the sun accelerates the aging process in the skin.
Generally, the harder the blow, the larger the bruise. However, if you bruise easily, a minor bump, one you may not even notice, can result in substantial discoloration. Your arms and legs are typical locations for bruises.

Medications and supplements can cause easy bruising
Blood-thinning drugs such as aspirin and warfarin (Coumadin) or medications such as clopidogrel (Plavix) reduce your blood's ability to clot. Because of this, bleeding from capillary damage that would normally stop quickly may take longer to stop, allowing enough blood to leak out to cause a bruise.
Corticosteroids cause your skin to thin, making it easier to bruise. Don't stop taking your medications if you experience increased bruising. Talk to your doctor about your concerns and ask what you should do.
Certain dietary supplements such as fish oil and ginkgo also may increase your bruising risk since these supplements have a blood-thinning effect. Make sure your doctor is aware of any supplements you're taking — especially if you're taking them while on a blood-thinning drug. Your doctor may recommend avoiding certain over-the-counter medications or supplements.

When bruises indicate more serious problems
Bruising may also indicate something more serious, such as a blood-clotting problem or a blood disease. See your doctor if:

  • You have unusually large or painful bruises, particularly if your bruises seem to develop for no known reason
  • You're bruising easily, and you're experiencing abnormal bleeding elsewhere, such as from your nose, gums or intestinal tract
  • You have no history of bruising but suddenly experience bruises, particularly if you recently started a new medication

These signs and symptoms can indicate that you have low levels — or abnormal function — of platelets, components of blood that help it clot after an injury. To diagnose the cause of your bruising, your doctor may check your blood platelet levels or do tests that measure the ability of your blood to coagulate.
Other serious causes of bruising include domestic violence or abuse. If a loved one has an unexplainable bruise, particularly in an unusual location such as around the eye or face, inquire about the possibility of abuse.

Avoiding bruises
Once a bruise has formed, not much can be done to treat it. Most eventually disappear as your body reabsorbs the blood.
If swelling is associated with bruising, applying a cold compress for 20 minutes at a time and elevating the affected area may help. After the swelling has gone down, a warm compress may speed up the removal of the blood. To prevent minor bruising, eliminate household clutter that could cause bumps or falls. Long-sleeved shirts and pants may provide an extra layer of protection for your skin. Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun to help you avoid its aging effects and the increased bruising risk that may result. If the sight of your bruises bothers you, try covering them with makeup until they've healed.

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-relationship-between-bruising-and-vitamin-deficiency.htm Vitamins C, D, E K

See also VitaminDWiki