Vitamin K

 

What is it?

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin which is involved with blood clotting and the utilisation of calcium in bone formation. Although it is found in some vegetable foods it is also manufactured in our gut by intestinal bacteria.

What does it do?

  • Involved in the manufacture of blood clotting agents.
  • Important for bone health as it is involved in the conversion of a major bone protein, osteocalcin from it's inactive form to its active form. This is crucial to the structural health of the bone as calcium is 'held' in place by the osteocalcin.

Deficiency Symptoms

  • Easy bleeding, poor ability to clot the blood.
  • Some research has linked very low levels of vitamin K with fractures in individuals with osteoporosis.

Deficiency is rare as vitamin K is manufactured in the gut, although new born babies are often given vitamin K at birth as they have no established gut bacterial culture.

Recommended Daily Amount (RDA)

There is no RDA as it is thought that enough is made in our bodies.

Food Sources

Green leafy vegetables, kale, broccoli etc, green tea, asparagus, oats, whole grains

Safety Considerations

Vitamin K may intefere with the action of anticoagulant drugs such as Warfarin. Please consult your doctor before taking any supplement programme if you are taking medication.

 

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