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Functions of vitamin k

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Functions of Vitamin K LifeMojo LifeMojo Home|Invite|RSS|SMS|Help|Login / Register HomeMy JourneyMy Journey HomeGoalsPlanTrackMeasureReportsAnalysisBody AnalysisLifestyle AnalysisLifestyleLifestyle HomeTop RatedNutritionFitnessWellnessMotivationHealth GuidesHealth Guides HomeHealth TipsCalories BurntNutritional ValueHealthy RecipesGlossaryHealth InsuranceCommunityForumsRoutesHealth StoreHealth Store HomeShopping Cart LifestyleLifestyle > Functions of Vitamin KFunctions of Vitamin KBy LifeMojo Team / January 16, 20110 CommentsWhen you experience a difficulty in blood clotting after sustaining an injury, you might sense that something has gone wrong with the blood coagulation protein called prothrombin. But in a broader outlook, it might mean a deficiency of Vitamin K in the body. It is Vitamin K which is responsible for the proper functioning of several blood coagulation proteins in the body.

Functions of Vitamin KVitamin K, a fat soluble vitamin, is responsible for the process of blood clotting. The "k" comes from the German word "Koagulation" which means blood clotting. The vitamin can be produced in the intestines and its two naturally occurring forms include K1 or phylloquinone and K2 or menaquinone. The former is derived from plants while the latter is synthesized by several bacteria in the large intestine. The synthetic or the man made form of this vitamin is called menadione.

Functions of Vitamin K Helps in Blood Coagulation: Vitamin K helps in the proper functioning of the proteins which aid in blood clotting. Without proper blood clotting mechanism one might face prolonged bleeding even from small injuries. Also, when there is too much blood clotting (even when we are not wounded), the clot can mistakenly block an otherwise functioning blood vessel. Vitamin K keeps our blood clotting ability at the exact right level.Strengthens Bones and Prevents Osteoporosis: Vitamin K has emerged as a critical nutrient for bone health. Vitamin K helps the bones to grab onto calcium and put it in the right place. Some studies suggest that vitamin K indirectly regulates the calcium-binding capacity of osteocalcin, a protein needed to bind calcium to the bone matrix. Inadequate amounts of Vitamin K lowers bone density and strength. If the deficiency persists for a long time, then it might lead to Osteoporosis characterized by brittle bones. Studies have shown that diets low in Vitamin K can be linked to higher rates of hip and bone fractures in the elderly as well as osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Protects the Heart: Unwanted calcification (build-up of calcium inside a tissue) is one of the common problem in many forms of cardiovascular disease. This build-up of calcium causes the tissue to harden and stop functioning properly. Arteriosclerosis denotes hardening of the arteries due to the deposition of calcium in the lining of the blood vessels in place of cholesterol. People might even suffer heart attack due to the calcification of the artery. Vitamin K keeps calcium out of the arteries and hence prevents the development of this condition.Dietary Sources of Vitamin KThe dietary intake of vitamin K for adult men and women is recommended to be 90 micrograms per day, for infants 10 - 20 micrograms per day, and for children and adolescents 30 - 75 micrograms per day. Some of the dietary sources include:

Kale - raw 1 cup (67g) - 547 mcg, cooked 1/2 cup (65g) - 531 mcgBrussels Sprouts - raw 1 cup (88g) - 155 micrograms (mcg) Spinach - cooked 1/2 cup (90g) - 442 mcgSwiss Chard - cooked 1/2 cup (87g) - 285 mcgBroccoli - cooked 1/2 cup (78g) - 110 mcg Mustard Greens - cooked 1/2 cup (70g) - 209 mcg Green leaf lettuce - raw 1 cup (36g) - 62.5 mcgGreen Peas - cooked 1/2 cup (80g) - 20.7 mcgAsparagus - cooked 5 spears (75g) - 60 mcg Grapes, seedless - 75g - 10.9 mcgCarrots - cooked 1/2 cup (78g) - 10.7 mcgKiwi fruit - 1 medium (76g) - 30.6 mcgParsley - 2 tbsp - 123 mcgCanola Oil - 1 tbsp - 17 mcgOlive Oil - 1 tbsp - 8 mcgSoybean Oil - 1 tbsp - 26.9 mcgIf you take warfarin (a blood thinner), you should know that vitamin K or foods containing vitamin K can affect how the drug works. Ask your doctor how much vitamin K or vitamin K-containing foods you should consume.

Deficiency Symptoms of Vitamin KCases of Vitamin K deficiency are very rare because the vitamin is synthesized in the intestines. People at an increased risk of vitamin K deficiency include people who suffer from liver damage or disease (e.g. alcoholics), people with cystic fibrosis, inflammatory bowel diseases or those who have recently had abdominal surgeries. Following are the deficiency symptoms:

Vitamin K deficiency can cause severe hemorrhages due to continued bleeding and in the extreme cases people might suffer from anemia. In some cases deficiency of Vitamin K might lead to death due to heavy bleeding. Deficiency of Vitamin K can cause osteoporosis due to the weakening of the bones which fail to receive calcium. Nosebleeds, bleeding gums and easy bruising have been observed in many cases. Some individuals have also reported heavy menstruation or blood in the stool or urine. Infants are at a greater risk of Vitamin K deficiency and they might face a life threatening situation due to bleeding inside the skull. Vitamin K intake becomes another reason for you to include green leafy vegetables in your diet for several times a week. It is not only important for blood clotting and bone health, but it is essential for the overall health of the body.

Tags: Vitamin, Vitamin K, Nutrition, Blood Clotting, Bones, Wellness

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