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Vitamin K

Vitamin K

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Published by Ruturaj Mokashi

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Published by: Ruturaj Mokashi on May 18, 2011
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Vitamin K
Vitamin K is an essential fat-soluble micronutrient which helps the blood to clot and preventscontinuous bleeding. It posses essential antioxidant properties required for proper functioning of kidneys and bone growth. Vitamin K is generally stored in the fat tissues for few days. Vitamin K plays acrucial role in the coagulation process and the vitamin K dependent
coagulation
proteins aresynthesized in the liver. The vitamin K dependent coagulation proteins comprise of factors (
II
 
prothrombin
,
VII
 
proconvertin
,
IX Christmas factor
,
X
 
Stuart factor
,
protein C
,
protein S
,
protein Zv
)which act as
procoagulants
that help to arrest and prevent bleeding. The proteins C and S have an
anticoagulant
role which slows down the clotting process.This fat soluble micronutrient can be classified into
vitamin K1
,
vitamin K2
, and
vitamin K3
. Vitamin K1and K2 are generally produced by the bacteria which is present in the small intestine. Vitamin K3 theactive synthetic form which is derived from K3-K7. Vitamin K not only helps in the normal clotting of blood but also assist in normal bone calcification. Chicken, egg yolk, butter, Olive oil, broccoli, rawspinach, soybean, cauliflower and raw lettuce leaf are the excellent sources of Vitamin K. Deficiency of vitamin K can lead to severe complications such as cystic fibrosis, impaired bone mineralization andexcessive bleeding or
vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB)
.
Vitamin K benefits
Vitamin K assists in the process of blood clotting and thus prevents excessive loss of blood due to anyphysical injury or accident. It also maintains the bone health by absorbing essential mineral calcium andprevents loss of bone density and joint related complications such as osteoporosis, arthritis andosteomalacia. Vitamin K is also known to have anticancer effects which can help to treat some kinds of cancer. It avoids calcification of arteries and thus aids in preventing heart disease and othercardiovascular complications.This vitamin is essential for blood sugar regulation and proper functioning of liver. Vitamin k isbeneficial for regulating cell growth and also for maintaining healthy nervous system. It also reduces therisk of internal bleeding, menstrual cramps, hemorrhages and other blood related disorders such as
myelodysplasic syndromes (MDS)
.Vitamin K is also responsible for maintaining circulatory system and controls the bodys blood-clottingcapability. It can also help to prevent some conditions such as biliary disease, cystic fibrosis, celiacdisease, Crohns disease and gallbladder disease. This vitamin also facilitates bone formation and themaking of new bone cells. Vitamin k is a natural fat soluble vitamin which helps to suppress appetite forweight management.It also posses anti-inflammatory properties and is also low in cholesterol and saturated fats. Vitamin K isvery beneficial for postmenopausal women as it helps to improve bone mass. Insulin which is producedby the pancreas also contains high amount of vitamin K. Insulin prevents diabetes by maintaining bloodglucose levels. It can also help to reduce gastrointestinal infection. It plays an essential role in keepinghealthy digestive system by preventing digestive tract diseases such as ulcerative colitis. Vitamin K is
 
necessary for the production of gamma- carboxylic enzymes and it also assist in converting inactiveprecursors into active coagulation elements. This vitamin also plays a crucial role in fighting free radicalswhich releases harmful toxins that affect the body and the skin. By eliminating these free radicals, thisvitamin helps to maintain healthy and well nourished skin.
Vitamin K foods
A healthy and well balanced diet will provide adequate amount of vitamin K in the body. Vitamin K playsa crucial role in blood coagulation and bone mineralization. During accidents, vitamin k quickly assists inthe blood clotting process and thus reduces excessive loss of blood. Diet rich in vitamin k will help inmaintaining cardiovascular health and also increase the elasticity of arteries and blood vessels. VitaminK deficiency is usually caused due to inadequate absorption or when the diet lacks in this essentialvitamins and nutrients. Following is the list of Vitamin K food sources:-
Vitamin K rich foods
o
 
Chicken
o
 
E
gg yolk
o
 
L
iver
o
 
Butter
o
 
M
ayonnaise
o
 
W
heat bran
o
 
Organic meats
o
 
Cereals
o
 
Kiwis
o
 
Avocados
o
 
Bananas
o
 
Soy products
o
 
Olive oil, canola oil, soybean oil
o
 
Spinach, brussel sprouts, swiss chard, green peas, asparagus, broccoli
o
 
Kale, mustard greens, carrots and cauliflower
Vitamin k deficiency
Vitamin k is an essential fat soluble vitamin which facilitates blood clotting and maintains bone health.Deficiency of vitamin k generally leads to defective blood coagulation and hemorrhages.
L
ack of vitaminK decreases the levels of prothrombin and other
vitamin k dependent coagulation factors
, which leadsto defective blood coagulation. Prolong deficiency of vitamin K can even lead to Alzheimer disease. Inwomen, vitamin k deficiency can cause heavy menstrual bleeding. Deficiency of vitamin K can contributeto some conditions such as biliary disease, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, Crohns disease and gallbladderdisease. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin K is 80 mg per day for adult males and65 mg per day for adult females, and 5 mg/day for the newborn infant. Vitamin k deficiency generallyoccurs due to malabsorption of vitamin k from the intestine or when the diet does not contain adequateamount of this vitamin.
 
Vitamin K deficiency affects the mineral calcium absorption which is required for maintaining strongbones. Thus there is increased risk of joint related complication such as arthritis, osteoporosis, hipfractures and bone fractures. Symptoms associated with vitamin k deficiency generally include nosebleeding, anemia, gum bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeding and ovarian hemorrhaging.Vitamin k deficiency can affect the insulin levels in the body, as it contains high amount of vitamin k.Thus deficiency of vitamin k can lead to increased glucose level in the blood and may eventually lead todiabetes. Inadequate vitamin k levels in the body can increase the risk of atherosclerosis which can leadto heart attack or heart failure. Anticoagulant like warfarin and
coumadin
can also increase the risk of vitamin k deficiency.
M
any birth defects such as neural tube defect, growth deficiencies, congenital heart disease andlearning disabilities have been linked with vitamin k deficiency. Bile deficiency, intestinal infections,impaired nutrition, alcoholism and drug abuse are some of the risk factors which are responsible forvitamin k deficiency. Due to vitamin K deficiency, body loses the ability to fight against free radicals thatrelease harmful toxins. In severe cases vitamin k deficiency can also lead to age related diseases such ascancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disorders.
Vitamin K2
Vitamin K2 is a group of compound called as manaquiones which provides protection from impairedbone mineralization, osteoporosis and cardiovascular blockages. Vitamin K2 regulates the creation andflow of calcium throughout the bone structure of the body. It prevents hardening or calcification of thearteries and helps to avoid heart disease and heart failure. This vitamin is produced by the bacteriawhich manifest inside the intestine. Sauerkraut, fermented cheeses and dairy foods like grass fed butter,and organ meats are rich source of vitamin K2.
Vitamin K newborn
Vitamin k play a crucial role in preventing brain damage and
vitamin k deficiency bleeding (VKDB)
innew born babies. Due to vitamin k deficiency new born babies are at a higher risk of suffering frominternal bleeding.
Hemorrhagic Disease of the Newborn (HDN)
is a fatal bleeding disorder which occursin newborns due to severe vitamin k deficiency. Poorly breast fed babies are at higher risk of developingvitamin k deficiency because milk is supplemented with low levels of vitamin k. vitamin K doesn't passeasily from the mother's bloodstream to the newborn through the placenta.Vitamin K deficiency is one of the major causes of neonatal morbidity and mortality. Conditions whichare generally seen in vitamin k deficient babies are diarrhea, hepatitis, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, andalpha1-antitrypin deficiency. Vitamin K deficiency also increases the risk for childhood leukemia.

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