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Benefits of Vitamin K And Its Side Effects

Last Updated: Jun 20, 2024

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It can be said that vitamin K is a micronutrient which is required by the body in small amounts but is still necessary for the healthy functioning of many organs including the pancreas, heart and liver. At the same time, it also regulates the coagulation of blood without which during an injury if the blood vessels become ruptured the person may bleed to death. It is true that vitamin K deficiency is rare because as mentioned above the primary source of this essential vitamin are the bacteria in the intestines. This is the reason that very few people if ever suffer from a deficiency of vitamin K. However, when a deficiency does occur it can have very serious consequences. This is the reason that it is necessary to eat foods which are rich in vitamin K1 and K2.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is a term used for the group of vitamins that are fat soluble and are known as naphthoquinones. This group of vitamins consists of vitamins K, K1, K2 and K3, where K1 is a natural vitamin and occurs in plants. Vitamin K1 is the primary source of the vitamin K which humans consume in different foods. Vitamin K is necessary for the body in order to react to injuries At the same time, it is also helpful in keeping the bones healthy and can reduce bone loss and reduce the risk of fractures. It also helps in preventing calcification of arteries and other soft tissues.

Nutritional Value of Vitamin K

The recommended usage for Vitamin K depends on the age and gender. For women aged 18 years and above, the usage is 90 micrograms (mcg)per day and for men its 120mcg per day.

Health Benefits of Vitamin K

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Mentioned below are the best health benefits of Vitamin K

Preventing osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is caused by loss of bone density and it usually occurs after the age of 50 years and is common in menopausal women. This problem progresses silently and causes many complications if not treated. The signs and symptoms of osteoporosis may occur in the form of spinal deformity, easily fractured bones and pain in the bones. Around the age of 20-30 years the bone mass of a human being starts decreasing. This is the age when the bones are at their maximum strength and density, but after this the bone density starts reducing. Menopausal women suffer bone loss when their estrogen levels fall.

Reduces the clotting of blood

The other primary function of vitamin K is the regulation of the blood clotting. This is because of the role it plays in the amalgamation of prothrombin. Blood clotting automatically occurs when there is an injury which causes the blood vessels to tear. The molecules that cause the blood clotting continuously circulate through the blood stream. The role of vitamin K is to regulate the blood clotting by transporting calcium throughout the body. Vitamin K2 helps in improving the blood disorder known as myelodysplastic syndrome.

Reduces excessive menstrual flow

Although there are many reasons for excessive menstrual flow in women, deficiency in vitamin K is also one of them. Taking supplements of vitamin K can reduce the excessive flow of blood during menstruation as it will reduce the amount of blood flowing out of the body.

Prevents internal bleeding

This vitamin helps reduce the risk of bleeding in the liver, jaundice, poor absorption of nutrients or the effects of long term use of antibiotics or aspirin. Some gastrointestinal problems caused due to the deficiency of this vitamin include sprue, obstructions, colitis and Chrohn’s disease.

Reduces menstrual pain

Vitamin K ensures the regulation of hormones which in turn ensure regular periods. This in turn helps in the reduction of menstrual pain. Women who suffer from too much menstrual pain should get tested for the deficiency of vitamin K

Relieves nausea during pregnancy

Pregnant women who suffer excessive vomiting and nausea during pregnancy are usually deficient in vitamin K. If they intake supplements of this vitamin, it will help in reducing these symptoms in pregnant women. Not only this it will also have a positive impact on the mental and physical health of the unborn child.

Prevents hemorrhaging in babies

Usually newborn babies are given an injection of vitamin K to prevent hemorrhaging. This vitamin is also necessary for children who are asthmatic and they can be treated by regular oral drops of this vitamin.

Prevents biliary obstruction

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Taking antibiotics for a long time can cause biliary obstruction, regional enteritis, celiac disease and ulcerative colitis. These disease become even worse due to deficiency of vitamin K. Therefore regular supplementation with this vitamin prevents these complications from occurring in the future.

Protects the immune system

It has been proved by studies that vitamin K protects the immune system and the digestive system. Therefore it is advisable to eat foods that have a high content of this vitamin, in order to boost the immune system and make the digestive system healthy.

Regulates the blood sugar

he pancreas produce insulin in the body and they contain a high amount of vitamin K. This vitamin is necessary for the proper functioning of pancreas. The insulin secreted by pancreas controls the blood sugar levels and regulates the transformation of sugar into energy. Hence it can be said that the vitamin K is essential for regulating blood sugar levels.

Increase flow of urine

Vitamin K can also increase the flow of urine which is essential for removing soluble toxins from the body. This is the reason that if you do not pass enough urine it would be advisable to check yourself for the low levels of vitamin K in your body and if it is found so then you should take supplements of the same.

Prevents cancer

It has been proven by research that vitamin K is useful in the prevention of cancers of the colon, prostate, stomach, nasal and oral cancers. According to one study vitamin K was useful in stabilizing patients with liver cancer and even improved the functioning of the liver in these patients.

Uses of Vitamin K

It prevents bleeding in newborns. It can also prevent people from prothrombin, when given by mouth or injected in the vein. It can also reverse the effects of warfarin to prevent blood clotting.

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Side-Effects & Allergies of Vitamin K

If a person is under dialyis, it is advised to consult the doctor before taking these supplements. High dosage of vitamin K can worsen blood clotting problems, for those who suffer liver complaints. Vitamin K1 may lower blood sugar level, so it is advised that diabetics should carefully monitor their blood sugar levels.

Origin And Cultivation of Vitamin K

If a person is under dialyis, it is advised to consult the doctor before taking these supplements. High dosage of vitamin K can worsen blood clotting problems, for those who suffer liver complaints. Vitamin K1 may lower blood sugar level, so it is advised that diabetics should carefully monitor their blood sugar levels.

References

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    Written ByDrx Hina FirdousPhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child CarePharmacology
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    Reviewed ByDt. Ms. Shilpa MarwahB.Sc (Home Science), Post Graduation Diploma in Dietetics and Public Health NutritionDietitian/Nutritionist
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