Vitamin K

Vitamin K

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At a Glance

There are three types of vitamin K. Vitamin K helps with blood clotting, amino acid metabolism, cell signaling in bone tissue, and more. It is especially important right after birth, as it prevents excessive bleeding in infants. Vitamin K can be found in several whole foods including green leafy vegetables, lentils, and peas.

Overview

Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin. There are three types of Vitamin K; phylloquinone (vitamin K1), menaquinone (vitamin K2), and menadione (vitamin K3). Bacteria that colonize the large intestine can synthesize vitamin K2. However, the contribution of this production to vitamin K status is unclear.

Importance

Vitamin K has many functions in the body including:

  • Assisting the blood clotting process
  • Acting as a cofactor in amino acid metabolism
  • Cell signalling in bone tissue
  • Preventing excessive bleeding in infants (infants get a vitamin K shot shortly after birth).

Food Sources

Vitamin K can be found in several foods including:

Note: The fermentation of foods can increase their vitamin K content.

Deficiencies

Common symptoms and resulting conditions of vitamin K deficiency include:

  • Tendency to bleed or hemorrhage
  • Anemia.

However, your individual response could be different. If you suspect a health problem or deficiency in certain nutrients, please see your primary health care provider (doctor, naturopath, etc). They can help unravel the complexity of your physiology.

Excess/Toxicity

Common symptoms of vitamin K excess/toxicity include:

  • Interference with glutathione activity.

However, your individual response could be different. If you suspect a health problem or an excess of certain nutrients, please see your primary health care provider (doctor, naturopath, etc). They can help unravel the complexity of your physiology.

Note: Blood thinning drugs act as vitamin K antagonists to prevent excessive blood clotting. Thus, consuming too much vitamin K in the diet (or from supplements) can negate the anti-clotting effect and prevent pharmaceutical efficacy.

Recipe

For recipes rich in vitamin K, check out any of the Encyclopedia of Food entries for food items listed above.

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At a Glance

There are three types of vitamin K. Vitamin K helps with blood clotting, amino acid metabolism, cell signaling in bone tissue, and more. It is especially important right after birth, as it prevents excessive bleeding in infants. Vitamin K can be found in several whole foods including green leafy vegetables, lentils, and peas.