What Is Vitamin K?
Vitamin K, like vitamin A, is actually a generic name for a group of similar organic compounds. Vitamin K comes in three forms known as: Vitamin K1 or phylloquinone, vitamin K2 or menaquinone, and vitamin K3 or menadione. Vitamin K1 and K2 are natural occurring vitamins, phylloquinone can be found in green vegetables and menaquinone can be found in meats, cheeses, and can be synthesized by the body’s good bacteria. Vitamin K3 is a man-made synthetic vitamin also called menadione . Controversy is common about K3 because of its synthetic nature. The vitamin is actually banned from over-the-counter medications but is also common in pet foods. Consult your doctor before taking menadione supplements.
What Does Vitamin K Do?
Vitamin K is most known for its job in helping with blood clotting but most people over look vitamin K as an important part of our health. Without vitamin K cuts and wounds would be unable to heal because the blood platelets can’t clot. Vitamin K has also been known to help with bone maintenance, prevent heart disease, and elderly people take more to help with osteoporosis.
Vitamin K and D work together in the body, its believed that when the level of one is low, the other vitamin would work to its full benefit. And because most people are vitamin D deficient, they automatically become vitamin K deficient as well.
How Much Vitamin K Do You Need?
The National Health Institute recommends these doses to maintain a healthy amounts of vitamin K.
|Birth to 6 months||2.0 mcg||2.0 mcg|
|7–12 months||2.5 mcg||2.5 mcg|
|1–3 years||30 mcg||30 mcg|
|4–8 years||55 mcg||55 mcg|
|9–13 years||60 mcg||60 mcg|
|14–18 years||75 mcg||75 mcg||75 mcg||75 mcg|
|19+ years||120 mcg||90 mcg||90 mcg||90 mcg|
Food is the best way to get your vitamin K and good sources of vitamin K can be found in:
Leafy dark vegetables like green lettuce, kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, parsley, Swiss chard, broccoli, cabbage, and Brussel sprouts.
There’s also vitamin K in meats, eggs, beans soybeans, and strawberries.
Miso and Natto have large amounts of vitamin K as well.
Overdoses & Deficiencies
Overdosing on vitamin K1 and K2 is almost unheard of since most people have a vitamin K deficiencies. Although diseases that effect clotting can worsen with too much vitamin K. There is also an effect on bile production with high amounts of vitamin K but can be treated with bile supplements. Its not recommended to take K3 or menadione because its man made but this is not backed by any scientific evidence for or against menadione. Too much K3 can cause damage to liver, red blood cells, and jaundice or yellowing of the skin.
Worldwide, vitamin K deficiency causes death in infants because of the bodies inability to clot wounds. Those who are deficient in vitamin K are known to bleed and bruise more easily then those who aren’t. Adults are less likely to suffer from vitamin K deficiency because of the amount found in fruits and vegetables plus the bacteria in the gut that produces vitamin K.
Be sure to take your vitamins recommended for your body to live a healthy life.