What is vitamin K?
Vitamin K is known as a coagulation or antihemorrhagic vitamin because it plays an important role in blood clotting. Lack of this vitamin can result in various hemorrhagic diseases.
Vitamin K benefits:
Vitamin K is essential for initiating the synthesis of the four most important coagulation factors: prothrombin, factor VII, IX, and X. This vitamin is a significant factor to prevent bleeding. Some proteins are important for normal bone metabolism, all of which depend on the entry of calcium into the bones, are also dependent on vitamin K.
Vitamin K Deficiency:
Bacteria constantly synthesize vitamin K in the gastrointestinal tract so that vitamin K deficiency occurs rarely.Vitamin K deficiency is called Hypovitaminosis K. Symptoms of hypovitaminosis K are:
However, the deficiency of vitamin K often occurs due to poor absorption of fat from the gastrointestinal tract. One of the most common causes of vitamin K deficiencyis the inability of the liver to secrete bile in the gastrointestinal tract. This occurs either due to obstruction of the bile or due to liver disease. With the lack of bile, there is no adequate digestion and absorption of fat. Therefore, absorption of vitamin K is reduced. This is why vitamin K injection is given to all patients with a liver disease or blocked bile ducts before any surgical operation. Vitamin K deficiency occurs with celiac disease, colitis, and tropical sprue. Vitamin K deficiency leads to coagulation disorders and bleeding, either spontaneously, or as a result of injuries.
Foods high in vitamin K:
Vitamin K in foods: cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, nettle, Indian alfalfa, fir needles, and other leafy green vegetables, tomatoes, peas, soybeans, carrots, potatoes, pork liver (and fat which is obtained from liver), vegetable oils, fish oil, flour obtained from fish that have begun to rot, cow’s milk, yogurt, cheese, egg yolk, black sugar syrup, molasses, and seaweed.
How to take vitamin K?
The daily intake of vitamin K is very small. It is considered appropriate if an adult takes about 90-120 micrograms. Children should take about 30-60 micrograms per day.
Vitamin K toxicity:
Generally, vitamin K is well tolerated. It is not toxic in large doses. However, allergic reaction is possible when taking vitamin K (supplements). There is no evidence of toxicity in high doses of either phylloquinone (vitamin K1) or menakinona (vitamin K2). Therefore, the upper tolerable limit is not prescribed.
However, the synthetic form of vitamin K, vitamin K3 (menadione), and its derivatives have shown toxicity. Although vitamin K3 can be converted in the body into non-toxic forms, surveys show unwanted risks related to taking this form of vitamin K. Vitamin K3 can interfere with the action of glutathione (a natural antioxidant in the body) and thus lead to increased oxidative stress, which can degrade many types of cells, including kidney and liver cells. Because of the above, vitamin K3 causes jaundice and haemolytic anemia (due to rupture the membrane of red blood cells) and kernikterus in children. The FDA has banned the use of vitamin K3 in food supplements.