Vitamin K – Health Benefits, Sources, Deficiency & Recommended Daily Intake

Vitamin K Health Benefits
Vitamin K Health Benefits

Vitamin K refers to a group of fat-soluble, structurally similar vitamins the body needs for the total synthesis of specific proteins and the health benefits of Vitamin K are tremendous. These proteins are required for blood coagulation and also for managing other tissues and binding of calcium content in bones. Moreover, without vitamin K, uncontrolled bleeding happens due to inefficient blood coagulation. Vitamin K includes three compounds; K1, K2, and K3 (menadione). Vitamin K rarely affects adults but does trouble infants and young children.

Major Sources of Vitamin K With Values (Mcg-Micrograms)

  • Eggs – 1 hardboiled egg – 4 mcg
  • Grapes – ½ a cup – 11 mcg
  • Soybeans – 1 tbs – 25 mcg
  • Spinach – 1 cup(raw) – 145 mcg
  • Collard greens – ½ cup (both boiled and frozen) – 530 mcg
  • Natto – one 3 ounce cup – 850 mcg
  • Parsley – 10 sprigs – 90 mcg

Health Benefits of Vitamin K or Why Humans Need Vitamin K?

  1. Improves Bone healthVitamin K prevents bone density loss or osteoporosis in post-menopausal Osteoporosis, a condition featuring fragile and porous bones affects 10 million Americans, 80% are women.
    • Symptoms of osteoporosis are
      • Constant pain in joints
      • Fall in estrogen levels
      • Bone fractures
      • Spinal deformity
  2. Prevents Coronary heart disease – Vitamin K prevents coronary heart disease by increasing MGP (Matrix Gla-protein) in the body.
  3. Controls Menstrual Flow Women experiencing too much menstrual blood loss should regularly partake vitamin K.
  4. Avoids Internal Bleeding Vitamin K decreases the risk of jaundice, poor nutrient absorption, and internal liver bleeding.
  5. Supports Immune System – Intake of liquid spirulina, milk kefir, raw cultured vegetables increase vitamin K. Therefore, immune and digestive system work properly.
  6. Stops Hemorrhages in Infants Babies with vitamin K deficiency are injected with this vitamin and vitamin K also helps asthmatic children.
  7. Removes nausea during pregnancy – Pregnant women mainly suffer from nausea and vomiting due to vitamin K deficiency. Vitamin K intake will intake will improve their condition within 72 hours.
  8. Controls blood clotting Vitamin K improves blood clotting capacity of the body by transporting calcium. And also, vitamin K2 helps to reduce myelodysplastic syndrome or other blood disorders.
  9. Stops Biliary Obstruction Regular consumption of vitamin K prevents ulcerative colitis, regional enteritis, celiac disease, and binary obstruction.
  10. Manages Blood Sugar The pancreas handles the second highest levels of this vitamin in the body. Vitamin K manages blood sugar regulation.

Deficiency of Vitamin K

The main causes of vitamin K deficiency are

  • Heavy alcohol abuse
  • Weakness due to severe malnourishment
  • Intake of drugs that prevents vitamin K absorption
  • Have a disease such as active celiac or Crohn’s disease that directly affects stomach absorption
  • Taking very extreme doses of vitamin E or A

Symptoms of Vitamin K Deficiency

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Easily bleed or bruise
  • Newborns affected due to bleeding in the brain
  • Uncontrollable bleeding at puncture or surgical areas
  • Cartilage calcification
  • Other issues related to bleeding such as haemorrhaging, extreme menstrual bleeding, gum bleeding, or digestive tract bleeding

Recommended Daily Intake of Vitamin K Across Various Age Groups

  1. Infants and Toddlers
    • 0-6 months old – 2 mg/ day
    • 7-12 months old – 2.5mg/ day
  2. Children and Teens
    • 1-3 years old – 25 mg per day
    • 4-8 years old – 35 mg per day
    • 9-13 years old – 45 mg per day
  3. Male between 14-18 years old – 55 mg per day
  4. Female between 14-18 years old – 55 mg per day
  5. Adults
    • 19 years and above – (Male – 70 mg – Female – 60 mg) per day
  6. Pregnant women
    • RDI (Recommended Daily Intake) for pregnant women – 60 mg
  7. Lactating Mothers
    • RDI (Recommended Daily Intake) for lactating mothers – 60 mg

(*)  mg means milligram

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