What is Vitamin K?
Vitamin K encompasses a group of chemical related fat-soluble compounds known as naphthoquinones. This group of naphthoquinones includes vitamins K, K1, K2, and K3. Vitamin K1 is the natural form of vitamin K (phytonadione). Plants contain Vitamin K. Plants are the primary source human obtain through vitamin K.
How Vitamin K Helps Our Body
Vitamin K assists in the transport of calcium throughout the body, regulates blood clotting, an essential nutrient necessary for injury repair. Vitamin K contributes to regulating healthy blood clotting. Vitamin K may also help prevent artery calcification.
What happens if you do not have enough vitamin K?
If you have low levels of vitamin K it may raise the risk of uncontrollable bleeding. Vitamin K deficiencies are rare in adults, but they are very common in newborn infants. It is standard the United States medical practice to inject a single dose of vitamin K into newborns.
While vitamin K deficiencies are uncommon, you may be at higher risk if you:
- Have a disease that affects absorption in the digestive tract, such as Crohn’s disease or active celiac disease
- You take medication that interfere with vitamin K absorption
- You are malnourished
- You heavily consume alcohol
- Most people receive enough vitamin K in their daily diet.
Vitamin K is used to counteract an overdose of the blood thinner Coumadin
Vitamin K is abundant in:
- green tea
- leafy greens
- brussel sprouts
- soybean oil
- Swiss chard
- Fermented dairy that includes yogurt, cheeses, and fermented soy.
Vitamin K2 is believed to be useful to enhance bone density and reduce the risk of bone fractures.
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