Overview of Vitamin K

K vitamin is essential for clotting the blood to heal injuries. Whenever a person has a bleeding wound, it is the K vitamin in the blood that prevents the bleeding and helps the majority of the minor cuts to heal rapidly.

K vitamin comes in three different types. Vitamin K1, also known as phylloquinone, is the first variant of the k vitamin. That is the form of K vitamin found in plant food types. Vitamin K found in foods made from plants. Vitamin K2 is the second source of the K vitamin, or menaquinone. This type of K vitamin is formed in the intestines by amicable bacteria. Thirdly, vitamin K3 is also known as menadione and is in fact an artificial source of vitamin K. All three of these types of K vitamin end up in the liver where the clotting substances are used to create the blood.

Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, are the best natural sources of K vitamin. However, since the pleasant bacteria in the intestine make one of the types of K vitamin, it is extremely rare for a person to have a K vitamin deficiency and so most people don't need K vitamin supplements.

In addition to the primary role of helping blood clot, K vitamin, specifically Vitamin K1, has an essential part to play in the cycle of bone building. The K vitamin is necessary to maintain and redistribute the calcium in the bones to where it is needed.

Although a deficiency in K vitamin is fairly rare there are some groups of people who may suffer from it. Newborn babies may not have enough K vitamin to produce it, because they have insufficient bacteria in their intestines. Hence, a K vitamin injection is offered to the majority of newborn babies in developing countries to tide them over before the natural cycle takes over. It is the only time most people can take a K vitamin supplement in their lives. An extended course of antibiotics, however, may result in a vitamin deficiency of K due to the fact that the antibiotics kill the intestinal bacteria as well as the ones that are being used to treat them. Again, if antibiotic course needs to continue for a long period of time, a K vitamin supplement can be given.

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