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What is the Relationship Between Bruising and Vitamin Deficiency?

Erin J. Hill
Erin J. Hill

The connection between bruising and vitamin deficiency is well documented. A lack of certain vitamins in the body can cause someone to become more susceptible to bruises and may lead to a longer healing time when bruises occur. Taking certain vitamins also seems to help prevent excessive bruising in many individuals.

Those who experience bruising and vitamin deficiency symptoms such as fatigue are generally lacking one of several main vitamins. Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E are all commonly deficient in those who bruise easily. Although they all work together to promote tissue regrowth and healing, vitamin C is the most common culprit when it comes to bruising.

Bruised leg.
Bruised leg.

There are two primary ways to alleviate bruising and vitamin deficiency. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is the best way to ensure that all necessary vitamins are being consumed. Dietary sources of key vitamins include green leafy vegetables, oranges, tomatoes, and carrots. Eating foods of many different colors is a good tactic.

Vitamin K is another vitamin which is often missing in those who bruise easily or severely, and it is generally manufactured in the intestines by the “good” bacteria naturally found there. Sometimes these bacteria, or flora, can become overrun by pathogens like “bad” bacteria or yeast, or they may be killed by eating certain foods. These can be replenished by using a probiotic supplement and by avoiding foods which kill off friendly bacteria.

An ice pack, which can help with a bruise.
An ice pack, which can help with a bruise.

Taking a vitamin and mineral supplement may also ward off bruising and vitamin deficiency issues. The best type will be food-based, meaning that the nutrients are derived from real food sources rather than synthetic vitamins. If these are not available, synthetic varieties are generally considered suitable. Liquid vitamins are often absorbed better by the body than pills and capsules.

A person with a bruised toe.
A person with a bruised toe.

Anyone who is experiencing severe bruising or who gets bruises easily should contact a doctor. Although vitamin deficiency is the most common cause of excessive bruising, there are some serious medical conditions which could also be to blame. Cancer and diabetes are both potential serious causes of bruising, and they should be ruled out before treatment can begin. Patients who are taking any over the counter or prescription drugs or supplements should speak with a doctor or pharmacist before taking vitamin supplements, especially in high doses.

Discussion Comments


Niacin and maybe B-6 do thin the blood and can make bruising easier. Loss of Collagen in the skin makes bruising easier. I have found in my research that ALL anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds thin the blood just a little, taking many of them can multiply the effect, and make bruising easier. Vitamin K-1 seems to be the most important supplement as well as Collagen to beef up the skin... and stop bruising. Many foods have both blood thinning and thickening effects to various degrees. It is a very complex mix that I am mapping out. K-2 seems to be a blood thinner, while K-1 is well know to be the key to proper blood clotting. Antibiotics can reduce the K-1 by digestive bacteria!


A vitamin K deficiency will definitely cause bruising. It happened to me in the past. I had black and blue bruises for weeks, they took extremely long to heal. This is why they sell vitamin K cream for bruises.


@SarahGen-- I'm not a doctor but as far as I know, bruising easily and vitamin B12 deficiency are related. You may bruise easily or you may bleed easily if you are deficient in this vitamin. You need to see your doctor and get a blood test to check your vitamin B12 levels. If it's low, your doctor will recommend a supplement.

You may benefit from regularly taking a vitamin B complex supplement since you said that you have a higher risk. But it's always a good idea to see what your current vitamin B12 levels are. This will help you determine how much vitamin B12 you need to take and at what frequency. It probably wouldn't hurt to have your other vitamin levels checked as well. You can give blood samples for everything at one go.


Do B vitamins have anything to do with bruising?

I know that I am at risk of vitamin B deficiencies because I'm on a medication that reduces the absorption of B vitamins in my body. I've noticed recently that I bruise easily and it takes longer than usual for bruises to heal. Could it be due to vitamin B deficiencies or do I need to look into other deficiencies like vitamin D deficiency?

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      Bruised leg.
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      By: Marc Dietrich
      An ice pack, which can help with a bruise.
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      A person with a bruised toe.
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      A lack of vitamins can lead to bruising.
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