Why is Vitamin K Important – Benefits, Sources & Functions

Vitamin KVitamin K belongs to a group of fat-soluble vitamins and present а coagulation vitamin because it plays important role in the coagulation process of blood. Its name comes from the German word for coagulation. The only biological role is as a cofactor for enzymes that catalyze amino acids. Vitamin K is composed of a group of vitamins:

K1 – Phytomenadione, menahinon, phylloquinon, and mefiton

K2 – farmohinon

K3 – menadion

K4 – menadiolis acetas

K5 – metiloksiaminonaftalin

In therapeutic purposes, most commonly are used vitamin K1 (fitomenadion), K2 and K3.

How much vitamin К we need?

The minimum daily requirements for vitamin K are not clearly defined. But there are references to its intake as follows: for adult male recommended dose is 120 micrograms per day, for adult women is 90 micrograms per day, while for a child less than 7 years of age is 10 to 20 micrograms per day.

Food rich in Vitamin K

This vitamin is found in the leaves of horse chestnut, spinach, nettles, cabbage, cauliflower, pumpkin, tomatoes, strawberries, carrots, and in smaller amounts is found in other plants.

Animal products contain very small amounts of this vitamin, and most can be found in the bile, butter, veal liver, various cheeses and products made ​​from fermented soy beans.

Vitamin K deficiency

Hypovitaminosis is rare in adults because this vitamin is present in various foods and synthesized by intestinal bacteria in the body. Deficiency of vitamin K may come in long-term use of antibiotics (eg, sulfonamides and broad-spectrum antibiotics) due to disruption of intestinal flora sparked by these antibiotics. By giving small amounts of vitamin K, this condition can be repaired. Deficiency of this vitamin leads to disruption of the process of blood coagulation.

The body usually well accept vitamin K. It’s commonly used for the treatment and prophylaxis of hypoprothrombinemia, and prophylaxis of haemorrhage especially in infants (exclusively fitomenadion). It is advised not be given concomitantly with drugs used against blood coagulation (anticoagulants such as coumarin, acenocoumarol, warfarin, etc.) because it reduces their activity.

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