Vitamin K Benefits, Sources, Dosage, and Side Effects

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Introduction

Want to know everything about vitamin K? Then you are on the right page!

Vitamin K is a group of fat-soluble compounds that play a key role in blood clotting and prevent excessive bleeding. Also, this vitamin is essential for metabolism and bone health. But unlike other vitamins, vitamin K is not usually taken as a dietary supplement. 

This article will tell you the sources, benefits, dosages, and the side effects of Vitamin K. in short everything that you need to know about this vitamin is in this article. So without wasting any more of your precious time, let’s check out!

What is Vitamin K?

Vitamin K is a group of fat-soluble vitamins that is essential to produce prothrombin and to induce blood clotting. Prothrombin is a type of protein that is essential for bone metabolism and blood coagulation. Vitamin K helps to synthesize Protein C, Protein S, and Protein Z. These proteins help to degrade blood coagulation factors Prothrombin, Factor VII,  Factor IX, and Factor XIII.

There are 2 types of vitamin K- Vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2.

Vitamin K1

Phylloquinone or Vitamin K1 is the 1st type of Vitamin K, which is mostly found in plant foods. Vitamin K1 is almost 75-90% of the vitamin K that humans consume. Top vitamin K1 rich foods are-

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Collard greens

Vitamin K2

Vitamin K2 comes with several subtypes, known as menaquinones (MKs). These subtypes are named based on the length of their side chain. Vitamin K2s subtypes range from MK-4 to MK-13. This vitamin is mostly produced in the gut but the gut bacterias. Also, vitamin K2 is found in fermented foods. The following list comes with several foods that are high in vitamin K2.

  • Natto
  • Hard cheese
  • Egg yolk
  • Chicken
  • Beef liver
  • Porkchop

Sources of Vitamin K

As we have already said that Vitamin K is one of the most important vitamins our body needs. It helps in blood clotting as well as maintaining bone health. In this section, we will write about those foods that are high in Vitamin K.

  • Kale
  • Cooked Broccoli
  • Raw Swiss Chard
  • Natto
  • Spinach
  • Cooked Brussels Sprouts
  • Green Beans
  • Prunes
  • Kiwi
  • Soybean Oil
  • Avocado
  • Cheese
  • Green Peas
  • Parsley
  • Cabbage
  • Beef Liver
  • Pork Chops
  • Chicken
  • Goose Liver

Benefits of Vitamin K

Vitamin K comes with ample health benefits and very essential for your heart health. It treats the body in various ways. Let’s check the benefits Vitamin K provides-

1. Blood Coagulation

Vitamin K produces some proteins and factors that help to clot blood. Without this vitamin K, our body will not be able to control blood loss and form a clot in the wound. For the treatment of hypoprothrombinemia of the newborns, Vitamin K is an essential factor.

2. Maintains Bone Health

Just like Vitamin D, Vitamin K also plays an important role in maintaining bone and muscle health. This vitamin can lower the risk of bone damage and osteoporosis. Vitamin K improves bone density, thus lowers the risk of fractures. As well as this vitamin supports the maintenance of strong bones by improving the calcium absorption by the gut.

3. Improves Heart Health

In older adults, vitamin K maintains the blood glucose level and lowers the blood pressure level by preventing mineralization. Therefore, it helps the heart to pump up blood through the body.

Dosage of Vitamin K

The recommended dosage of vitamin K is as follows.

Age Group (Year)Adequate Quantity (mcg/day)
0-6 months2
7-12 months2.5
1-330
4-855
9-1360
14-1875
Above 18 (women)90
Above 18 (Men)120

For pregnant and lactating women (under 19)- 75 mcg/day

For pregnant and lactating women (19-38)- 90 mcg/day

Deficiency of Vitamin K

Well, there is a severe symptom of Vitamin K deficiency and that is excessive bleeding. From any wounds or cuts, tremendous bleeding can occur. Some other symptoms are:

  • Person bruises easily
  • Gets blood clots just under the nails
  • Brittle nails
  • Chapped lips
  • Bleeds in the mucous membranes
  • Constipation
  • Dark stool

Causes of Vitamin K Deficiency

Vitamin K deficiency is not really normal for adults. But some people are at risk of severe vitamin K deficiency.

  • People suffering from flu or any infections and taking antibiotics
  • A person who is on a diet that lacks Vitamin K
  • People who take blood thinners like warfarin regularly

Bottom Line

Always remember that having a diet that contains all the essential minerals is always better than intaking any supplement! Make sure to consult a doctor before incorporating any Vitamin K supplements into your diet. Because a supplement should only be taken at the time of deficiency and under medical supervision only.

Did you like this article? Did we miss anything? Should we write something more? Do tell us in the comment section below! Don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family.

Tina Ray
Tina is a wellness enthusiast and a senior content writer at Zotezo.com. In short, she makes sure that any wellness content which goes out is AWESOME!

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