Vitamin K: Quick Facts You should Know about this Life Saving Vitamin

muthusamy By muthusamy, 22nd Feb 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Diet & Nutrition

Vitamin K is most widely known for its blood clotting ability. Do you know how the letter ‘K’ got associated with this vitamin? The letter ‘K’ is associated with the name of this vitamin since Germans named it as ‘Koagulation vitamin’. The specific chemical compound 2-methyl-1,4-naphtoquinone has the ability to restrict bleeding in human beings.

Blood Coagulation

Your body uses Vitamin K for the synthesis of liver protein called prothrombin (or factor II) and this protein is responsible for the process of normal blood coagulation. Prothrombin is synthesized by your liver. Vitamin K is used to synthesize anti-coagulation drugs i.e. as warfarin (Coumadin).

Vitamin K: Group of Vitamins

You have vitamin K1, K2 and K3. Vitamin K1 and K2 are found in natural form. You will have your Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) from vegetables. Your vitamin K2 (menaquinone) could be synthesized by your intestinal microorganisms like bacteria. More and more in take of yogurt in your diet will improve the synthesis of vitamin K2 in your intestine. But Vitamin K3 (menadione) is not considered as a natural form of vitamin K. It could be artificially synthesized by man in laboratories. Therefore vitamin K3 cannot be equated with the functions of natural vitamin K. Menadione protects you from osteoporosis.

Fat Soluble Vitamin

Vitamin K compounds are absorbed with fat from the food you eat. Vitamin K compounds are fat-soluble liquids at normal temperature and the compound is stable when exposed to heat or air but it turns unstable when exposed to alkali or light. The other fat soluble vitamins are Vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin E.

Health Benefits

Vitamin K is immensely helpful in the absorption of important mineral calcium. Another essential function is synthesis and storage of glycogen from glucose at the liver. It is established that vitamin K has a role in preventing the thickening of arterial walls and safeguarding you from possible coronary heart diseases. Vitamin K is prescribed to treat menstrual bleeding disorders, varicose veins and nosebleeds. It prevents miscarriages and birth defects. Vitamin K plays an important role in the formation of bone as well as reducing the severity of osteoporosis (loss of bone density) and prevention of slow bone loss. Vitamin K has key role in preventing cancer and also the medication while treating cancer.

Nutritional Benefits

Your vast array of dietary sources of vitamin K could be the leafy vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, kale, lettuce, mustard greens, spinach and sprouts. You will get moderate amount of vitamin K in artichokes, avocados, celery, cucumbers, kidney beans, lentils, peas, red cabbage and plums. Minimum amount of Vitamin K will be available in apples, apricots, bananas, blueberries, carrots, egg yolks, grapes, oats, peaches, sweet potatoes, tofu, and tomatoes. Your pork and beef liver are also excellent sources of this nutrient. Be sure to include at least three servings of vegetables and fruits in your daily diet so as to avoid vitamin K supplements.

Vitamin K: Daily Diet Requirements

How much amount of Vitamin K you require in your daily diet? Minimum daily requirements of vitamin K have not been fully established. The approximate requirement for adults is estimated around 20mg to 25mg.

Abundance of Vitamin K

Dietary abundance of vitamin K is not recommended and therefore large doses should be avoided.

Vitamin K Deficiency.

You will rarely get Vitamin K deficiency. If you are deficient of vitamin K, it may be due to your physical conditions that prevents either the synthesis or absorption of vitamin. Further you must have been under anti-coagulant therapy or under prescription of high antibiotic dosages which would have killed your intestinal bacteria. Alcoholics and people with liver disorders also have deficiency of vitamin K. A severe lack of Vitamin K can lead to a multitude of health problems, including:

1) Osteoporosis and related bone disorders.

2) Loss of coagulation or blood clotting may lead to excessive blood loss. You will get bloody noses.

3) Birth defects or physical deformations.

4) Thickening of blood vessels and atherosclerosis

5) Overdose of vitamin K may lead to thickened blood and coronary heart diseases, brain stroke and other artery problems.

Reference Sources:

1) Health Alternative 2000 - Vitamin Chart Nutrient chart Vitamins in fruits and vegetables - Vitamin Chart Nutrient chart Vitamins in fruits and vegetables.mht
2) Symptoms Linked to Deficiencies of Vitamin K
3) The Doctor's Vitamin and Mineral Encyclopedia by Sheldon Saul Hendler. Simon & Schuster. Pp.496. 1991. ISBN 978-0671740924
4) Wikipedia – Vitamin K -


Blood Clot, Diet, Fat Soluble, Nutritional Diet, Nutritional Supplement, Nutritional Value, Vitamin K, Vitamin K Deficiency, Vitamins

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author avatar Jenny Heart
27th Feb 2011 (#)

Very helpful advicr!

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author avatar muthusamy
27th Feb 2011 (#)

Thank you Ms.Jenny Heart

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author avatar Rathnashikamani
14th Mar 2011 (#)

If you miss Vitamin K
you're sure to be NOT oK.

Deficiency makes the blood vessels thick,
Overdose makes the blood itself thick!

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author avatar Tranquilpen
17th Apr 2011 (#)

Thank you Muthusamy, I was just about to post a similar article about the difference between Vit.K 1 and K 2. K2 is a Very wonderful supplement, a bit costly in my country about $45 for 30 capsules

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author avatar J
5th Nov 2016 (#)

"5) Overdose of vitamin K may lead to thickened blood and coronary heart diseases, brain stroke and other artery problems"

There is absolutely NO evidence for this in scientific literature. (Feel free to cite a peer-reviewed article to prove me wrong; I have not come across one to date that concludes this.) High doses of Vitamin K are sometimes used to treat osteoporosis and atherosclerosis with no ill effects.

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