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Get acquainted with your nutrients - Vitamin K
Get acquainted with your nutrients – Vitamin K
vitamin k is a fat-soluble vitamin and is known for its most important function that is normal coagulation of blood. This vitamin is heat stable and to air exposure but is destroyed by light, strong acids, alkalis, and oxidizing agents.
vitamin k is a name given collectively to a few related compounds that have similar activity.
Phylloquinone is the vitamin k form found naturally in plants
Menaquinone is vitamin k form from bacteria
Menadione is the synthetic form of vitamin k.
Sources of vitamin k
vitamin k is found in a variety of foods and is also synthesized by bacteria in the colon.
Good sources of vitamin k include dark green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. It is also found in beef liver. About half of the vitamin k requirement is met by the vitamin k which comes from the bacterial synthesis in the intestine.
Bile and pancreatic secretions are required for the absorption of vitamin klike any other fat-soluble vitamin. vitamin k synthesized by the bacteria in the intestine is absorbed from the lower intestine and colon.
How much vitamin k do we need?
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adult male and female is 120 and 90 ug of vitamin k respectively.
Functions of vitamin k
- Necessary for normal blood clotting
- Involved in bone metabolism
- Required for regulating the blood calcium level
For a long time, the only known function of vitamin k was its necessity for proper blood clotting. The liver is the organ which makes the proteins or clotting factors that circulate in the blood. These clotting factors get activated when there is a blood loss, help the blood to clot at the site of the wound. These clotting factors are modified by vitamin k. This is the reason why vitamin k status is checked before any surgical procedure is done.
vitamin k has a role to play in the metabolism of bone which is a metabolically active tissue that renovates itself throughout life. It is also necessary for the maintenance of bone strength, and it has been proved to have a positive impact on bone metabolism.
vitamin k deficiency
Fat-soluble vitamins are usually stored in the body but vitamin k is not stored well in the body. This may lead to a deficiency of vitamin k very easily. But since many foods are good sources of vitamin k and intestinal bacteria also synthesize vitamin k, its deficiency is not commonly seen in adults.
Because of various reasons, some people use antibiotics over a long period of time and these may affect the bacterial population in the gut. These people may be vulnerable and develop vitamin k deficiency.
There are chances of vitamin k deficiency being seen in infants because they have a sterile intestine and it will take some time to develop sufficient bacterial population to synthesize vitamin k. And it does not seem that much vitamin k is got from the mother by the infant and they come into the world with limited source of vitamin k.