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Vitamin K

What is Vitamin K?

The K vitamin  is a fat-soluble vitamin also known as the “blood clotter” vitamin, because without it blood would not clot.

What does Vitamin K do? (What is Vitamin K used for?)

Vitamin K is used for the prevention and treatment of low levels of known blood clotting substances that normally produces within your body. These “clotting” substances help your blood get thicker and cease to bleed after you are injured or cut. When the blood doesn’t clot as it should, the risk for unnecessary bleeding may occur when different types of medications are taken or if a patient has a condition. Other uses for Vitamin K include but are not limited to: aiding in the absorption of calcium in bone, aiding in the reduction of excessive menstrual flow, stopping some cancer tumors, overcoming the inability to absorb vitamins, and maintaining vitality and longevity.

Where is Vitamin K found?

The ideal way to get the required daily dose of vitamin K is by eating foods that contain it. Vitamin K is found in the following foods: most, if not all green vegetables with leaves, like; collard greens, spinach, parsley, kale, romaine lettuce, turnip greens, green leafy lettuce, Swiss chard, mustard greens, and even vegetables like; cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli; cereals, eggs, meat, fish, and liver. Vitamin K is also created by the gastrointestinal tract’s bacterial lining.

What happens when someone is Vitamin K deficient?

Someone being deficient of Vitamin K is very rare, but it can occur. The deficiency happens when the human body’s intestinal tract can’t absorb the vitamin properly. A deficiency can also surface after a patient has been treated by antibiotics for a long period of time. People with vitamin K deficiencies are almost always likely to bleed and bruise more. Because the production of intestinal bacteria hasn’t begun in newborns, they may have a higher risk of being Vitamin K deficient, which is extremely dangerous because it can lead to bleeding in the brain and other organs in the body. Patients with inflammatory bowel disease, liver damage, cystic fibrosis, and those who are alcoholics, along with the patients who’ve had abdomen surgeries in the past have an elevated risk of a vitamin K deficiency. Also some people with eating disorders and those on strict diets are at risk of deficiency.

Known symptoms and/or signs of having a vitamin K deficiency may consist of: any type of bleeding such as; nose bleeds, heavy menstrual cycles, bleeding gums, and anemia. Osteoporosis and heart disease are also symptoms of one being deficient of vitamin K.

Helpful sources, supplements and additional benefits of Vitamin K

As earlier stated, vitamin K plays a distinctive role in keeping calcium away from the arteries and in the bones. Vitamin K is also used for the prevention and treatment of a vitamin K deficiency, preventing certain clotting and/or bleeding problems, and reversing the effects of too much of the medicine used to stop blood clotting. And like any vitamin, it is far better to receive your daily intake of the vitamin via foods like fish, eggs, vegetables that are green and leafy, and meat, to name a few. But should you suspect your vitamin K intake is low you can always use vitamin supplements and consult your physician.

 

AIs (Adequate Intakes)

If you are taking anti-coagulant (to prevent blood clotting) medication, consult your medical practitioner before taking a Vitamin K supplement.

Infants
0-6 months
7-12 months
Micrograms per Day
2.0
2.5
Children
1-3 years
4-8 years
Micrograms per Day
30
55
Males
9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years

60
75
120
120
120
120
Females
9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years

60
75
90
90
90
90
Pregnancy
< 19 years
19-30 years
31-50 years

75
90
90
Lactation
< 19 years
19-30 years
31-50 years

75
90
90

Source: USDA Dietary Reference Intakes