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Everything You Need to Know About Vitamin K

Vitamin K is an important vitamin and too much or too little vitamin K could be life-threatening. Read more to find out if you are at risk!

Vitamin K is an important vitamin that is produced by your body and found in food. Vitamin K works to help make some proteins for your body. These proteins help to support your bones, kidneys, and blood. Vitamin K also helps to coagulate your blood. Proteins that help to clot your blood when you bleed are made with vitamin K and this ensures that your body is able to help stop bleeding. There are four types of vitamins that are fat soluble and vitamin K is one of them. When a vitamin is fat soluble, it means that when you consume more than your body needs, your body will store some of it in fat for later use.

However, if you are not getting enough vitamin K, your blood won’t coagulate and this can be very dangerous if you start bleeding. But typically only people who frequently use antibiotics, which destroys the bacteria that produce vitamin K in the intestines, or diseases that prevent absorption like celiac disease, are at risk for vitamin K deficiency. Another rare vitamin K deficiency can occur in newborns since they are born without intestinal bacteria that produce vitamin K. Infants are typically given a shot of vitamin K at birth to prevent the deficiency and its life-threatening effects.

Some medication like anticoagulants/blood thinners require people to eat foods with vitamin K in consistent amounts. Eating too much vitamin K for people who are on blood thinners like Warfarin, could cause their blood to clot faster.

Vitamin K is produced by your body from bacteria in your intestines and found in some fruits and green, leafy vegetables like moringa, Brussel sprouts, kale, spinach, blueberries, some legumes, and broccoli. You want to aim to get 75 micrograms for 14 to 18-year-old teens, women 18+ should consume 90 micrograms and men 18+ should be meeting their adequate intake with 120 micrograms daily.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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