Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin known as “antihaemorrhagic”.
In fact, the “K” comes from the German word “koagulation”.
Why Do You Need Vitamin K?
- Coagulation (Blood clot formation)
- Healthy Bone Formation
- Aids in Calcium Transportation
Vitamin K is so vital, that without it we would not be able to stop bleeding. Vitamin K synthesizes coenzymes that stimulate the proteins that are is associated with helping our blood to clot. For people who don’t have enough Vitamin K in their systems, nose bleeds and /or excessive bruising is likely.
There are 2 types of Vitamin K that occurs naturally in nature; from plants and from bacteria. Plants synthesize phylloquinone (Vitamin K1) where as bacteria synthesis a wide range of Vitamin K; this is referred to as menaquinone-n (MK-n or Vitamin K2).
Interestingly, there is another form of Vitamin K that is not is made from bacteria but is instead produced by animals as well as humans. This is known as MK-4. As with some “B” vitamins such as vitamin B11 and 14, this form of Vitamin K appears to be important but science has yet to determine its function.
Infants with a Vitamin K deficiency can progress to internal hemorrhaging of the skull.
Since Vitamin K is synthesized in our intestines (much like most B-vitamins), it is said that it is uncommon to have a Vitamin K deficiency; however, this is assuming you have a healthy digestive system. With countless over-the-counter products for constipation, diarrhea, heart burn, stomach upset, bloating, and flatulence…just how healthy are most people’s digestive systems?
Conditions Related to Vitamin K Deficiency
- Connective tissue disorders
- Chronic epitasis (nose bleeds)
- Chronic hematomas (bruising)
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Prolonged clotting times
- Arterial calcification
The vitamin K dosage is best in lower amounts. Although higher amounts (up to 200 mg) may be necessary in some cases; would be best under the supervision of a knowledgeable doctor.
Dosages range from 100 mcg – 25 mg can be used very safely; however, 70–80 mg per day of Vitamin K can be achieved by eating foods such as: spinach, broccoli, asparagus, watercress, cabbage, cauliflower, green peas, and beans.
There is no known toxicity associated with high doses of vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) or vitamin K2 (menaquinone).
Vitamin K3 (menadione) is toxic and has been banned for use.
For those who are taking Coumadin (Warfarin) or other such medications used for “blood thinning”, care should be given when decided to take vitamin K due to its clotting properties. In fact, many medical doctors warn against eating dark greens, which are high in vitamin K, for the same reason.
Of course, the nutrients found in dark greens are no doubt exactly what people need when they are sick.
Strange that there are no warnings to processed and foods loaded with chemicals, but warnings against natural vegetables.
Fact is vitamin E which can be used as a “blood thinner” does not require such massive restrictions as it help brings balance to the body as a whole, not like a drug that produces unnatural side effects. (see Vitamin E vs. Coumadin)
- Vitamin K is so Vital
- Vitamin E vs. Coumadin
- Vitamins, What the Heck are They Anyway?
- Vitamin K’s Delicate Balancing Act
- Vitamin K: Another Reason To Eat Your Greens
- Importance of Vitamin K for infants
- The anticancer effects of vitamin K