Vitamin K

Vitamin K plays a big role in blood function and health. In fact, blood would not clot if it were not for vitamin K. In addition, the vitamin plays a big role in bone health. It is stored by the body in fat tissue and liver tissue.
Vitamin K was first discovered in 1929 when a Danish scientist investigated the role of cholesterol by feeding chickens a diet with low cholesterol. The chickens developed hemorrhages as a result of the diet. The scientist discovered that adding a specific compound that had been extracted from the food prior to its introduction to the chickens reversed the hemorrhaging. This compound was given the name vitamin K.

Signs of a Vitamin K Deficiency

A vitamin K deficiency can be caused by liver issues or decreased production in the intestines. Malabsorption can also be caused by specific illnesses like celiac disease, cystic fibrosis or bile duct obstructions. A deficiency can also be caused by improper dietary intake.
Signs of a vitamin K deficiency include bruising, oozing gums, excessive bleeding, heavy menstrual bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeding and bloody urine.

Vitamin K Excess

While no amount of vitamin K is known to cause side effects, the vitamin can interact with medications. It is known to react adversely with certain antibiotics and weight-loss drugs.

Age is the big factor in determining how much vitamin K is needed on a daily basis.

  • Infants under six months of age require 2 µg daily.
  • Infants between seven and 12 months of age require 2.5 µg.
  • Children between one year and three years of age require 30 µg.
  • Children between four and eight years of age require 55 µg.
  • Children between nine and 13 years of age require 60 µg.
  • Teens between 14 and 18 years old require 75 µg.
  • Adult men and women require between 75 and 90 µg daily.