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Vitamin K Facts

Vitamin K supplements Books on vitamin K

Like vitamin D, vitamin K can be gotten through a non-foodsource. Bacteria in the GI tract synthesize vitamin K that the body can absorb. Vitamin K's primary task is blood clotting. If blood did not clot a single pin prick could drain the entire body of all it's blood.

Adequate amounts of vitamin K can protect against hip fractures. Although, a deficiency in vitamin K is rare, antibiotics kill the vitamin K producing bacteria in the intestine, and anticoagulant drugs interfere with vitamin K metabolism and activity. A vitamin K deficiency can be fatal. It takes weeks for bacteria to form in newborns in order to produce vitamin K. A single dose of vitamin K is normally given to new born babies  to prevent hemorrhagic disease.

Vitamin K comes in three different variations, K1, K2, and K3. K3 is synthetic, meaning it is created in a lab, and it has a rep for being less than effective. K1 comes from green leafy vegetables. K2 is made in the body and can come from fermented foods like natto. Most cheeses contain K2.

Some studies indicate that vitamin K2 helps D direct calcium to a personís skeleton, and helps prevent calcium from blocking arteries. A lot of D supplements are coming with vitamin K now for that reason.

Vitamin K Toxicity

Vitamin K toxicity is not common, and no adverse effects have been reported with high intakes. High doses of vitamin K can reduce the effectiveness of anticoagulant drugs used to prevent blood clotting. People taking those drugs should eat vitamin K enriched foods in moderation and keep their daily intakes consistent from  day to day.

Recommended amounts

120 micrograms/day for adult males, 90 micrograms per day for adult females.

Children need about half the amount, depending on age.

sources: green vegetables such as collards, spinach, bib lettuce, brussel sprouts, and cabbage. also vegetable oils such as soybean oil and canola oil

Understanding Nutrition

Books on vitamin K for further research.


Vitamin K supplements

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