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Vitamin K Information, Benefits And Foods Rich In Vitamin K

Vitamin K is important for the normal functioning of the liver. Excessive menstrual flow in women can be reduced with its aid. It is also involved in the energy producing activities of the tissues, particularly those of the nervous system. And it is very essential for the prevention of hemorrhages and intestinal bleeding.

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin. It is essential for the production of a type of protein called pro-thrombin involved in blood clotting mechanism.

Hence it is called anti-hemorrhagic vitamin. Strong acids, alkalis and oxidizing agents can destroy this vitamin. The other factors that can destroy Vitamin K are air pollution, aspirin, frozen foods, mineral oil and X-rays and radiation.

Vitamin K is absorbed with fat in the diet. Moderate amount of Vitamin K is stored in the liver.

Vitamin K prevents Hemorrhage

Vitamin K Food Sources:

Alfa Alfa, cabbage, cauliflower, soybeans, spinach and yogurt contain Vitamin K in abundance. Lesser amounts are found in oats and wheat. Only a meager amount of Vitamin K is found in animal products. Cows milk is a good source. In healthy intestines vitamin k, is manufactured by bacteria.

Vitamin K Deficiency Symptoms And Traits

Failure to absorb or utilize the Vitamin can lead to a few deficiencies. Antibiotic therapy and low intake of the vitamin, reduces its production by bacteria, and may lead to lower levels of Vitamin K in the body.

Severe hemorrhages maybe caused as a result of blood taking longer to clot due to deficiency of Vitamin K. Life threatening situations may occur due to bleeding and nose bleeds.

  • Biliary Obstruction – When absorption of Vitamin K has been obstructed by lack of bile salts, pancreatic secretions or other causes of digestive failures. Vitamin K is administered and it is an essential pre-operative measure. 
  • Hemorrhages in Newborns – To prevent hemorrhages some infants require extra administration of Vitamin K. This can be given in a fat-soluble or water-soluble form. Infants, whose mother has received anti-coagulant therapy, should be given Vitamin K immediately after birth.

Precautionary Measures

Large doses of Vitamin K over a prolonged period can be toxic. In premature infants there can be anemia and jaundice. In adults it maybe hemorrhages and kidney disorders.

What is Vitamin K?

Vitamin K refers to a group of blood soluble vitamins that help in clotting the blood.  Several health experts also casually refer to it as the blood clotting vitamin. The most important function in the body played by Vitamin K is to attract and then bind the calcium in the body, to the protein. The protein that is present in human bones is known as osteocalcin. Without Vitamin K, the calcium does not stick to the protein, which causes the strength and density in the bones to reduce. Studies indicate that women who suffer from Vitamin K deficiency are at a much higher risk of suffering from osteoporosis. Elderly people too may increase their chances of bone and hip fractures, in case they do not follow a diet which contains an adequate amount of foods high in Vitamin K.

Vitamin K foods

Almost all vegetables contain Vitamin K and some of the best sources of Vitamin K include green vegetables like cabbage, kale and spinach, as well as other veggies such as Brussels sprouts, turnip greens, collards and beet greens. Other fruits and vegetable are also Vitamin K sources, although the amount of the nutrient present in such foods is much lower. Hence, people will not suffer from the deficiency of Vitamin K, if they do continue to follow a diet high in fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. However, it is important to ensure that the vegetables are either eaten raw, or are only slightly cooked for higher absorption of Vitamin K. Other foods with Vitamin K include certain herbs and spices, beans, lamb and legumes. It is also possible to get Vitamin K supplements at most health stores.

In case a person experiences Vitamin K deficiency symptoms in spite of eating a high amount of Vitamin K rich foods, it may be best to consult a doctor as this could mean that the body is not absorbing the nutrients from the food in the right way.

Vitamin K deficiency symptoms

Given below are some of the symptoms that indicate Vitamin K deficiency in the body:

• Bleeding from the gums
• Bruising easily
• High propensity for fractures
• Blood in the urine
• Conditions such as osteoporosis or osteopenia
• Excessive bleeding during the menstrual cycle for women

Vitamin K benefits

It is a well known fact that Vitamin K helps protect the health of the bones; however, not a lot of people are aware of the fact that Vitamin K can improve heart health too. This is because it can prevent the arteries from hardening, thereby reducing the risks of heart attack or other heart diseases. In fact, certain studies indicate that Vitamin K has an anticancer effect on the body too. People who have high levels of Vitamin K usually do not bleed excessively after an injury, as their blood begins to clot faster. One of the most important Vitamin K benefits is that it can have an anti-aging effect on the body.

However, before increasing the consumption of foods rich in Vitamin K, it is best to consult a doctor. This is more important for

Submitted on January 16, 2014