Vitamins And Minerals: What Is Vitamin K?

Getting enough K vitamins and minerals in your daily diet? Find out about Vitamin K and it's essential role in the human body.

Vitamin K comes in several forms. It is known by the names phytonadione, meadione, and vitamin K1, K2, and K3. Vitamin K acts in the human body in the formation of several substances which promote blood clotting. These blood clotting factors are integral to proper functioning of the liver. Vitamin K is also integral to the formation of prothrombin which promotes blood clots in the human body.

The dietary sources for Vitamin K are easily obtained through a normal diet. Vitamin K is extremely rich in alfalfa, green, leafy vegetables and in all of the root vegetables. You can also find dietary sources of Vitamin K in most fruits and seeds. Additionally, it can be obtained through the consumption of cow's milk, dairy products and yogurt.

Even though it is so important to boll cotting factors in the human organism, Vitamin K deficiency does occur which leads to hypoprothrombinemia, which is a fancy name for low levels of prothrombin in the human body. Vitamin K deficiency can result in delayed blood clotting and excessive bleeding. This can manifest in the form of bloody noses, excessive wound bleeding from minor cuts, and bleeding from the gums when brushing. An individual experiencing Vitamin K deficiency may also have uncontrolled bleeding in the intestine and urinary tract. Very rarely, Vitamin K deficiency can also cause a brain bleed.

Recommended intakes of Vitamin K vary, and are typically obtained through the normal diet however professionals seem to agree that an intake of approximately 300 mcg is adequate. Excess Vitamin K intake has no known side effects, however, synthetic versions of the supplement have been known to cause liver damage. Of course, before starting any form of supplementation you should consult your health care practitioner.

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