Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin necessary for coagulationof the blood. Other fat soluble vitamins are vitamins D, E and A, while all othervitamins are water soluble (vitamins B, C). There are several types of vitaminK. K1 is phytomenadione and this is the vitamin K found in plants. K2, or flavinoquinoneis produced in the large intestine by normal bacterial flora and K3 (menadione)is synthetic vitamin K.
Our body usually absorbs enough of vitamin K, but whenantibiotics or some other therapy destroys intestinal bacteria, people areadvised to increase the amount of food rich in vitamin K.
Food Rich in Vitamin K
There are many foods that are extremely rich of vitamin K. Someof these are: spinach (raw and cooked), Brussels sprouts iceberg, romaine orbutterhead lettuce, spring onions, broccoli, cabbage, peas, cucumber,asparagus, parsley and celery.
Some foods also contain plenty of this vitamin and arehighly appreciated as vitamin K sources. These include food such as: plums, prunes, rhubarb,soy beans and soy products. Bread and many salads are rich in vitamin K also,especially endive, beets, turnips, sauerkraut and coleslaw. If you need to enrichyour diet with vitamin K some nutritionists advise using egg yolks, mayonnaise,butter, cheese and beef liver. However, if you don’t want to use these fattyproducts, you might switch to fresh fruits or vegetable salads.
When trying to increase the amount of vitamin K through yourdiet, remember that it is always better to eat raw or slightly fried food, thancooked. Just a little bit of cold pressed oil added to your vegetables willensure the nutritive value of your food. Once you blanched your vegetables, don’tthrow the cooking water, because it might be valuable stock for a soup or anyother dish.
Vitamin K Toxicity
The recommended daily dose of vitamin K is around 65mg foradult women and bit higher, around 80mg for adult men.
Allergic reactions were reported by some people to vitamin Ksupplements, but there were not a single report of toxicity to vitamins K1 orK2. The synthetic form of vitamin K3 in large doses is known to causeallergies, liver toxicity and hemolytic anemia. Because of that, vitamin K3 isnot on the FDA list of vitamins allowed in OTC (over the counter) preparations.
Vitamin K Deficiency
Lack of vitamin K in the body may cause nose and otherbleeding, arterial problems, malnutrition, osteoporosis and inflammatory boweldisease. Some medical conditions and drugs are known to cause vitamin Kdeficiency. Antibiotic medications, antiepileptics, anti-cholesterolmedications, liver and gallbladder problems may all cause lack of vitamin K inthe body.
Newborn babies might suffer from vitamin K deficiency also,which is why many doctors recommend injections of vitamin K1 at birth andduring the first month of a baby’s life.