Vitamin K explained.

Vitamin K is one of the most underrated vitamins, but it is so important for our body function! Though vitamin K supplements are not recommended for the general public, vitamin k is important to have in diet– and it’s readily available in many foods!  Vitamin K is actually a group of fat soluble molecules also known as naphthoquinones. Vitamin K groups include K1, K2, and K3, though vitamin K1 (phytonadione) is the most prevalent and well known. Though vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin it is also able to be excreted from the body in urine.

 

What does it do?

  • Plays a role in blood clotting
  • Assists in calcium transport.
  • Reduces bone loss
  • Helps protect bone from potential bone fractures
  • Prevents soft tissue calcification.

What are deficiency symptoms?

  • Osteopenia (low bone density)
  • Excessive bruising,
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Blood in the urine.

When should I worry?

  • Newborn infants: a single injection of vitamin K for newborns is standard practice in most hospitals.
  • Blood thinners: if you’re taking blood thinners a vitamin k supplement may be prescribed in order to counteract over use. 
  • Crohn’s disease: affects absorption of nutrients in digestive system.
  • Celiac disease: affects absorption of nutrients in digestive tract.
  • If you are taking drugs that interfere with vitamin K absorption.
  • Nutritionally malnourished.
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol.

Where can I find it?

  • Vitamin K1 is obtained from leafy greens and some other vegetables.
  • Vitamin K2 is a group of compounds largely obtained from meats, cheeses, and eggs, and synthesized by bacteria.

How much do I need?

 

Toxicity and other Considerations?

  • No known toxicity is associated with vitamin K, but high doses may lead to peripheral nephropathy (tingling/numbness in extremities).
  • Excessive vitamin K supplementation during pregnancy may increase the risk of jaundice in newborn babies. 

Learn more here!

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