There are two types of vitamin K, which is a fat-soluble vitamin. The primary form, known as phylloquinone or vitamin K1, is present in leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collard greens. The other kind, known as menaquinones or vitamin K2, is present in various fermented and animal-based diets. It is also possible for microorganisms within the human body to create menaquinones.
The synthesis of several proteins required for blood clotting and bone growth is aided by vitamin K. The process of clotting aids in reducing excessive bleeding from the inside as well as the exterior of the body.
One protein that is directly related to blood clotting and is dependent on vitamin K is prothrombin. Another protein that needs vitamin K to be produced in order to form healthy bone tissue is osteocalcin. To make the proteins that are involved in the clotting process, your body needs vitamin K. Your body lacks sufficient amounts of these proteins if you have a vitamin K deficiency.
All parts of the body, including the liver, brain, heart, pancreas, and bones, contain vitamin K. It is rapidly degraded and eliminated as faeces or urine. As a result, unlike other fat-soluble vitamins, it seldom reaches hazardous levels in the body even at high consumption.
Signs of Deficiency
Adults rarely suffer from vitamin K insufficiency, however it can happen to individuals on antibiotics or other drugs that inhibit vitamin K metabolism, as well as those with illnesses that impair nutrition and food absorption.
The most common signs of vitamin K deficiency are;
A longer time for blood to clot
Dark stools with blood in them
Osteopenia or osteoporosis
Long-term antibiotics may be at greater risk for a vitamin K deficiency, and may benefit from a vitamin K supplement. People with poor diets should be more careful as food is the best way to absorb nutrients.
Because vitamin K is fat-soluble, it is best to eat vitamin K foods with some fat to improve absorption.
What are the benefits of vitamin K
For a healthy heart, bones, and blood clotting, vitamin K is necessary. Broccoli, vegetable oils, and leafy greens all contain it. An important nutrient, vitamin K is necessary for healthy bones, wound healing, and blood clotting. Insufficient levels of vitamin K in the body raise the risk of heart disease, haemorrhage, and bone fractures.
Although the body can synthesise a limited quantity of vitamin K, it's crucial to acquire it from external sources as well.
Who is at Risk?
Those at a higher risk of vitamin K deficiency include;
Newborns who haven’t received a vitamin K injection
People with conditions such as celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, and short bowel syndrome that affect the amount of nutrients absorbed
Those who have undergone Bariatric surgery.
Food Sources for Vitamin K
Foods that contain vitamin K are;
Your body can produce a small amount of this essential nutrient, but you should get most of it from foods like green leafy vegetables and vegetable oils.
In severe cases of vitamin K deficiency, your doctor may recommend vitamin K supplements for help.Vitamin K deficiency is rare in adults because most of the foods we eat contain a lot of K1 and the body makes its own K2. Vitamin K deficiency is more common in infants called VKDB i.e. Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding.