Basic characteristics of vitamin K
Vitamin K is also called anti hemorrhagic vitamin or coagulation vitamin. Named after the Latin word for stopping bleeding - coagulatio, therefore the initial K means a coagulant vitamin.
As the name suggests, vitamin K is extremely important and necessary in the process of blood coagulation. Any deficiency of the vitamin K would cause haemolytic numerous changes, most often manifested through the haemorrhage and inability to stop bleeding.
In nature, vitamin K is located in one of two forms:
- Vitamin K1
- Vitamin K2
Vitamin K1 synthesizes green leafy plants, which are the main natural source of vitamin K for the man.
Vitamin K2 is also a natural form of vitamin K, which are synthesized by bacteria in the gut of the man.
As synthetic forms of vitamin K, were created K3, K4, and K5.
Vitamin K along with vitamins A, E and D belongs to lip soluble vitamins, or vitamins soluble in fats. That is why presence of fat in the intestine is important, for the absorption of vitamin K and adoption of food.
The stability of vitamin K adversely affect the brightness, the alkaline areas, heating, X-rays, radiation, some antibiotics that destroy the intestinal microflora. The antibiotic neomycin found only as a positive in better absorption of vitamin K.
Sources of vitamin K in foods
To a lack of vitamin K rarely comes because many foods of plant origin are rich in this vitamin. Food of animal origin (meat, milk, eggs) contain, to some extent, vitamin K, but plant foods considered as a major carrier and a source of vitamin K.
The best sources of vitamin K in foods are:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Kale, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts
- Spinach, nettle, chard
- Legumes (soybeans, peas)
- Potatoes, carrots
- Fish oil
- Egg yolk
- Dried spices (basil, parsley, rosemary, curry, chilli)
The daily amount of vitamin K is very small. It is considered appropriate if an adult takes about 300 µg.
Health Benefits of Vitamin K
Vitamin K has a primary role in the blood clotting process, specifically in the synthesis of prothrombin and blood coagulation factors. Without the presence of vitamin K would be absent the coagulation process, which can have fatal consequences.
Other lesser-known role of vitamin K is building and maintaining bone strength. The investigation has shown that vitamin K is essential for the synthesis of certain proteins that bind calcium for themselves and participate in building bone mass.
Deficit of vitamin K | symptoms of deficiency
To a lack of vitamin K rarely comes, because foods are rich in this vitamin. Even in reductive and bad diet, vitamin K is synthesized by bacteria in the intestines, therefore some level of synthesis of vitamin K is held in normal.
To a deficiency of vitamin K can be generated in the course of various metabolic malformations, such as disorders of fat metabolism, the occurrence of inflammation of the liver, gallbladder, presence of gallstones, obstructive conditions in the gallbladder and the like.
If there is not enough vitamin K in the body it leads to the following conditions:
- Bleeding and bruises
- The inability of blood coagulation
- Liver cirrhosis