What is the Role of Vitamin K in Good Nutrition?

Vitamin K is found in food, but it is also created by the bacteria in our intestines. K stands for the Danish word "koagulation," meaning coagulation or clotting.

What are the Key Functions of K-Vitamin?

What are the Food Sources of K-Vitamin?

Who would benefit from K-Vitamin supplementation?

How much K-Vitamin is usually taken?

When should Vitamin K supplementation be used?

What are the side effects of using K-Vitamin?

What are the Key Functions of Vitamin K?

K-Vitamin is a group of chemicals used by the body to make specialized proteins found in blood plasma (the clear fluid in blood) such as prothrombin.

This is the protein responsible for blood clotting.

  • K-Vitamin is also needed to make bone and kidney tissue.
  • K-Vitamin is needed for proper bone formation and blood clotting. In both cases, K-Vitamin does this by helping the body transport calcium.
  • K-Vitamin is used by doctors when treating an overdose of the drug warfarin.

Also, doctors prescribe K-Vitamin to prevent excessive bleeding in people taking warfarin but requiring surgery.

Back to Top of page

What are the Food Sources of Vitamin K?

Broccoli, cabbage, kale, lettuce, spinach and turnip greens, cheese, liver, and cereals

Leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, kale, collards, and broccoli, are the best sources of K-Vitamin. A greener plant has a higher content of K-Vitamin.

Other significant dietary sources of K-Vitamin include soybean oil, olive oil, cottonseed oil, and canola oil.

Back to Top of page

Who would benefit from Vitamin K supplementation?

A K-Vitamin deficiency, which causes uncontrolled bleeding, is rare, except in people with certain mal-absorption diseases.

There are reports of severe K-Vitamin deficiency developing in hospitalized patients who had poor food intake and were receiving antibiotics.

All newborn infants receive K-Vitamin to prevent deficiencies that sometimes develop in breast-feeding infants.

Back to Top of page

When should K Vitamin supplementation be used?

Vit-K has been used in connection with the following conditions:

Celiac disease (for deficiency only) Cystic fibrosis
Osteoporosis Acute myeloid leukaemia (vitamin K2 only
Morning sickness Myelodysplastic syndromes (vitamin K2 only)
Phenylketonuria (if deficient)

Back to Top of page

How much K-Vitamin (RDA) is usually taken?

The recommended dietary allowance for K-Vitamin is about 1 mcg per 2.2 pounds of body weight per day or about 65 to 80 mcg per day for most adults.

This level of intake may be achieved by consuming adequate amounts of leafy green vegetables.

Back to Top of page

What are the side effects of using K-Vitamin?

Allergic reactions to K-Vitamin injections have been reported on rare occasions.

K-Vitamin facilitates the effects of calcium in building bone and proper blood clotting.

Take note:

You or someone in the family should not take K-Vitamin supplements without consulting a physician or doctor.

Back to Top of page

Return to Vitamin Supplements page
Return to Home page