Vitamin K - Benefits, Side Effects and Deficiency

Posted by administrator Thursday, July 10, 2008

We all need vitamins and minerals to keep us healthy and strong. These are essential to our overall well being and the state of our mind and body. This article provides information on vitamin K, its benefits to human nutrition, common side effects and the consequences of deficiency.

How Can This Vitamin Help Me?

Vitamin K, produced in the intestines of our body, is a fat-soluble vitamin. Vitamin K assists the absorption of calcium from food, it helps in forming and maintaining healthy bones. Probably,the most important role played by vitamin K is the control of blood clotting. It prevents severe blood loss due to injury.

What are the Side Effects and How Much Should I Take?

There is no known toxicity associated with high doses of phylloquinone (vitamin K1), menaquinone (vitamin K2), or menadione (vitamin K3) and its derivatives. However, a high intake of vitamin K is not recommended for individuals taking anticoagulant medications such as Warfarin (coumadin). The recommended daily allowance is 22 IU for men and women over age 19 including pregnant women, and 28 IU for lactating women. If you want to get obtain your intake from food sources then Vitamin K can be obtained either from food, or through its synthesis in the intestines of our body. Vitamin K found in plant food is called phylloquinone. In animal food it is found as menaquinone. The bacteria in the intestine can also produce vitamin K.

What Happens If I am Deficient in Vitamin K?

Vitamin K deficiency results in excessive bleeding of wounds. Newborn babies could be deficient in vitamin K because of its deficiency in the breast milk. In children it might lead to certain abnormalities like flat nasal bridge, short noses and shortened fingers. In adults, deficiency of vitamin K is rare. It is mostly found in people, who suffer from mal absorption of fats from dietary sources. The best course of action is to talk to your doctor or health professional who can advise you on supplementation.

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