Vitamin K1 is one of several K vitamins, also called naphthiquinones, that are present in some natural foods. These vitamins have some specific health effects that nutritionists and other scientists look at to help provide more information on how a natural diet or dietary supplements can keep people healthy.
Function of Vitamin K1
Vitamin K1 and a similar element K2 are most prominently used as coagulants. In fact, the term "vitamin K" comes from the German and Scandinavian spelling of the word coagulant. As natural coagulants, vitamin K1 and similar nutrients can help to prevent excessive bleeding, as in when blood thinners or coumadins cause improper clotting.
A range of other K vitamins called K3, K4 and K5 are used mainly in animal food.
Health Effects of Vitamin K1
In addition to being used as a natural coagulant, vitamin K1 has some other specific benefits that the medical community is looking into, as doctors use this nutritional element in different ways to manage the health of a diverse patient base.
Vitamin K1 can be used on the skin to limit the effects of some kinds of bruising, or in some kinds of skin treatments. Topical application helps to quicken the fading of bruises according to some dermatologists. Other doctors also claim that vitamin K can be helpful as part of a compound to help decrease dark circles around the eyes, a condition that affects a lot of Americans and causes a lot of consumers to look into possible dermatology solutions.
One other primary use of vitamin K1 is in a pediatric or neonatal facility. U.S. doctors have recommended that all newborns receive an injection of vitamin K to help with clotting, because newborns tend to have a deficiency of this element and may experience excessive bleeding. This is even more applicable to the many babies born prematurely each year. Premature infants need to be watched for these kinds of deficiencies and other health issues.
Vitamin K1 is also used to treat prothrombin deficiencies caused by external factors like a blood thinner.
In addition to the above uses of vitamin K1, researchers are looking at how this dietary element may help with bone density. Doctors in Japan are looking at how vitamin K1 may help in preventing some kinds of cancers.
Dangers of Vitamin K
Doctors warn those who are on blood thinners or similar medications to limit their ingestion of foods with high vitamin K ratios. These foods include leafy greens, such as kale and spinach, and some other green vegetables.
Many patients are put on a specific diet relative to vitamin K for a range of blood flow related conditions. Anyone with these kinds of health issues should consult with their doctor about how to manage their intake of vitamin K to promote good health.
Knowing more about the vitamin K element can help individuals to craft better diets for their specific health conditions. Food science is becoming an interest for more and more Americans who realize that nutritional levels can affect health on a very profound level.