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Updated 21 May 2013

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin and is made by bacteria that live in your colon. It’s then absorbed back into your bloodstream to conduct a variety of important tasks.

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Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin and is made by bacteria that live in your colon. It’s then absorbed back into your bloodstream to conduct a variety of important tasks in your body.

What it does for you

Vitamin K helps your blood clot. It also plays an important role in producing the proteins that keep your teeth and bones healthy.

Which foods have vitamin K?

Broccoli, brussels sprouts, yoghurt, green cabbage, alfalfa, egg yolk, oils such as soya bean oil and fish liver oil, and kelp.

How much vitamin K do you need?

The adequate intake (AI) for vitamin K is 120 microgram per day for male adults and 90 microgram per day for female adults.

This vitamin is seldom found in supplements as your body makes its own. The only people that need supplementation are those who’ve had large sections of their bowel removed, or people with digestive absorption problems.

How much vitamin K is too much?

Massive doses of vitamin K in supplements (at least 1000 times the RDA) can lead to a build-up in the body, causing liver damage and problems such as jaundice in infants and children.

Signs of vitamin K deficiency

Heavy blood loss during menstruation can be alleviated by taking vitamin K. Post-menopausal women who lose calcium in their urine can halt the loss by taking vitamin K. It can also alleviate nausea during pregnancy. Blood-thinning drugs can inhibit the absorption of vitamin K.

Research on vitamin K


Vitamin K can help patients recover from surgery. Newborn babies are now given vitamin K injections as a matter of course, to improve their blood clotting abilities.

 
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