February 05, 2014

Vitamin K

         Vitamin K is known as the clotting vitamin, because without it blood would not clot. Some studies suggest that it helps maintain strong bones in the elderly.

Functions of Vitamin K

  • Vitamin K is an essential vitamin required for protein modification  and blood clotting. 
  • Vitamin K is necessary for creation of the protein: S. Osteocalcin, which in turn synthesizes osteoblasts (bone forming cells). Thus it is necessary for the strength and maintenance of bones.
  •  Vitamin K has been shown to inhibit nerve cell death due to oxidative stress, the degree to which supplementation prevents Alzheimer's still needs to be researched.
  • Vitamin K may also function to help regulate Blood sugar levels. 

Rich Sources
  • Herbs – Dried Basil, Dried Sage and Dried Thyme (64%DV per tablespoon)
  • Dark Leafy Greens (Kale,Dandelion Greens, Collards, Cress, Spinach, Turnip Greens, Mustard Greens, Beet Greens, Swiss Chard, Broccoli Raab, Radicchio, and finally Lettuce
  • Spring Onions, Brussels Sprouts
  • Chilli powder, Paprika, Curry, Cayenne
  • Asparagus
  • Cabbage
  • Pickled Cucumber
  • Prunes
  • Soybean Oil
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Dry-Roasted Cashews
  • Blueberries, Mulberries, Raspberries
  • Figs and Pears
  • Fish, liver, meat, eggs, and cereals (contain small amounts)
  • Milk

Recommended Daily Intakes 
  • Men 19 years and older: 120 mcg
  • Women 19 years and older: 90 mcg
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women 19 years and older: 90 mcg


     Vitamin K deficiency is quite rare and generally happens only when there is problem with the absorption of vitamin K via the intestinal tract, rather than a result of getting insufficient quantities in the diet. It generally only occurs in people who have diseases that disrupt the absorption of fat, such as cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, Crohn's disease, liver disease, or cholestasis. Vitamin K deficiency can sometimes happen after taking oral antibiotics for a prolonged period. Extended ingestion of antibiotics can result in lower levels since they kill some of the bacteria in the intestines that produce vitamin K.  blood-thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin), long-term haemodialysis and serious burns can also result in Vitamin K deficiency.


         Vitamin K deficiency can lead to excessive bleeding, which may begin as oozing from the gums or nose.  Symptoms of vitamin K deficiency can include thinning of the blood, a diminished ability to clot blood, bruising easily, epistaxis, bleeding in the digestive tract, menorrhagia, and hematuria.

Prone to Deficiency 

New born

Elderly people


         There have been no been no Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL) established for Vitamin K, because as of now there have been no signs that taking too much Vitamin K will cause negative side effects. This is mainly due to the fact that Vitamin K2 is produced inside of the body through the use of bacteria. The body therefore regulates the amounts it produces in the body, and makes it very difficult for a healthy person to have too much.


         Vitamin K may play a role in treating osteoporosis and Alzheimer's, and that consuming increased levels of vitamin K can help protect against cancer and heart disease. Unless you are taking medication to prevent blood clots (any blood thinning medicine), like Ecosprin, Warfarin or Coumadin, there is no known risk of vitamin K toxicity, and no reason not to eat a lot of it. 

Reference  Picture

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