Vitamin K sources is a chemical also called phytomenadione, menadione, and menadiol. It performs many important functions in the body, including the participation in calcium homeostasis and the influence on blood clotting. It can be found in many fruits and vegetables as well as in animal products. What is the need for vitamin K? In what products does it appear? What is the risk of vitamin K deficiency and excess?
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1. What is Vitamin K?
Vitamin K was discovered in 1935 by Henry Dam, who eight years later received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for it. It is not a homogeneous substance, but a group of compounds – 2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone derivatives.
Vitamin K1 is produced in plants, vitamin K2 (menaquinone) is produced in the small intestine, and vitamin K3 (menadione) is a synthetic form used for supplementation.
Vitamin K is transported by bile from the small intestine to the lymphatic system. Then it goes to the liver , bones, kidneys, brain, heart and pancreas.
It is assumed that K1 is absorbed in 15-50% from food, while K2 produced by intestinal bacteria is absorbed almost 100%. Vitamin K primarily ensures proper blood clotting. It prevents bleeding and reduces excessively heavy periods.
It is needed for the production of prothrombin, which is most important in blood clotting. Other clotting factors (VII, IX, X) produced in the liver also require the presence of vitamin K.
A deficiency of prothrombin or other factors can cause prolonged bleeding, even with minor cuts. Fortunately, healthy people don’t usually need vitamin supplementation.
Vitamin K also enables the proper functioning of the skeletal system and prevents hemorrhagic diathesis in newborns.
2. The need for vitamin K.
Both deficiency and excess of vitamin K have a negative effect on the body. The daily requirement differs depending on gender and age.
- infants: 5-10 µg
- children (1-3 years old) – 15 µg,
- children (4-6 years) – 20 µg,
- children (7-9 years) – 25 µg,
- boys (10-12 years old) – 40 µg,
- boys (13-15 years old) – 50 µg,
- boys (16-18 years old) – 65 µg,
- girls (10-12 years old) – 40 µg,
- girls (13-15 years old) – 50 µg,
- girls (16-18 years old) – 55 µg,
- men – 65 µg,
- women – 55 µg,
- pregnant and lactating women – 55 µg.
3. Vitamin K sources
The need for vitamin K is quite difficult to determine, it is estimated that in an adult it is several milligrams a day. Deficiencies can be supplemented through a properly composed diet. It is worth consuming products such as:
- Brussels sprouts,
- turnip ,
- natural yogurt,
- soybean oil,
- beef liver,
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4. Vitamin K in milk
Infants are particularly at risk of vitamin K deficiency due to the limited passage of substances across the placenta during pregnancy. In addition, there are not enough bacteria in the intestines of newborns right after birth to produce the vitamin.
The content of vitamin K in breast milk is about 0.25 g per 100 ml in the first months of pregnancy and is insufficient to cover the daily requirement.
According to the recommendation of the Team of Experts in the field of Paediatrics in 2007, all newborns are given a single intramuscular dose of vitamin K immediately after birth.
It is recommended for breastfed infants to supplement oral vitamin K in microdoses from 8 days of age to 3 months of age.
In children fed formula milk, no additional dose of vitamin K is required. Vitamin K deficiency in adults may occur as a result of serious intestinal and liver diseases, long-term use of antibiotics or medications to lower cholesterol.
Older people who have a heart condition or take anticoagulant medications may have difficulty absorbing the vitamin. For symptoms of vitamin K deficiency include:
- bruises after the slightest blow,
- abnormal blood clotting,
- heavy menstruation,
- poor coagulation,
- long wound healing,
- diarrhea .
Avitaminosis, on the other hand, can be caused by:
- heart diseases,
- cardiovascular diseases,
- liver damage
- damage to the nervous structure in infants,
- disorders in fat absorption,
- disturbances in the absorption of food.
5. Too much vitamin K
Excess vitamin K is very rare, but it is dangerous to health and life. It can break down red blood cells, causing anemia .
In infants, it may be responsible for brain tissue damage and jaundice. Pay attention to how you feel and don’t ignore symptoms such as:
- hot flushes,