Vitamin K, it's a fat-soluble vitamin largely known for its blood clotting properties and maintenance of bone metabolism. It also helps our body by making proteins for healthy bones and tissues, which eventually regulates our blood calcium levels. Deficiency of Vitamin K is rare, but if one lacks this essential vitamin, it can lead to hemorrhage and excessive bleeding. While all of us know about the main vitamins like Vitamins A, C, D and E, Vitamin K is lesser-known. Let us tell you all the facts related to this vitamin in this article.
Vitamin K has two main types:
- Vitamin K1 or Phylloquinone
- Vitamin K2 or Menaquinone.
While Vitamin K1 is obtained from leafy vegetables, Vitamin K2 is a group of compounds that are largely obtained from meat, cheese, eggs and synthesized bacteria.
Why Is Vitamin K Essential For Our Body?
Low levels of Vitamin K can raise the risk of issues like uncontrolled bleeding. Vitamin K produces prothrombin, a protein responsible for the clotting of blood.
When Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) goes into the body the bacteria in the large intestine convert it to Vitamin K2, which gets absorbed in the small intestine and then stored in fatty tissues of the liver. Vitamin K2 produces protein MK 9, which helps in preventing coronary heart disease.
Also Read: All About Vitamin F and Its Health Benefits
Foods That Are Rich In Vitamin K
- Swiss chard
- Mustard greens
- Brussels sprouts
- Red meat
Vitamin K requirement as per age
- Children of 0-12 months - 2-2.5 micrograms/day
- Children of 1-3 years - 30 micrograms/day
- Children of 4-8 years - 55 micrograms/day
- Children of 9-13 years 60 micrograms/day
- Male age 14-18 years - 75 micrograms/day
- Men 18 and above - 120 micrograms/day
- Girls 14-18 years- 75 micrograms/day
- Women 18 and above- 90 micrograms/day
- Pregnant Women - 75-90 micrograms/day
Symptoms Of Vitamin K Deficiency
The signs and symptoms related to the deficiency of vitamin k can also happen in an area other than a wound or a cut. Some other symptoms are :
- Blood clotting or bruises
- Oozing from nose and gums
- More than normal or excessive bleeding from nose and gums
- Heavy periods
- Blood in mucous membranes in the areas which line inside the body
- Produces stool that looks dark black and contains some blood
- Bleeding from the area where the umbilical cord was removed
- It may also cause sudden bleeding in the brain, which is extremely dangerous and life-threatening.
Our body needs Vitamin K, in order to produce much-needed proteins for the body. If your body doesn't have much of these proteins, you may come across some serious problems.
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