Vitamin K

Vitamin K is not just one vitamin but a group of compounds - you might hear it referred to as phytonadione (a plant form), menaquinone (made in the intestines) or menadiol (a synthetic form). Consider it the anti-hemorrhage vitamin. It is not often included in multivitamin supplements.

Natural Food Sources
Alfalfa, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cheddar cheese, egg yolks, green leafy lettuce, liver, seaweed, spinach, turnip greens, vegetable oils.

Main Functions
Vitamin K regulates normal blood clotting and protein formation. It also promotes healthy bone development. Newborns are usually given a shot of vitamin K to prevent hemorrhaging.

Deficiency Symptoms
Prolonged bleeding or poor clotting abilities is the main symptom with vitamin K deficiencies. Excessive nosebleeds, bruising, stomach bleeding and blood in urine are other causes for concern and over time, it can lead to osteoporosis. Although vitamin K deficiency is a rare occurrence, if you have been taking excessive antibiotics, have an intestinal problem or have liver disease, be on the watch for these symptoms.

Toxicity Symptoms
Abnormal blood clotting, chest constriction and a breakdown of red blood cells can occur if too much vitamin K is consumed.

Recommended Dietary Allowance
Men: 70-80 mcg
Women: 60-65 mcg

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