The “K” of this vitamin has been derived from the German word “koagulation.” Coagulation relates to the process of blood clotting.
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin which is essential for the functioning of several proteins that are involved in blood clotting. This vitamin is abundantly present in green leafy vegetables. Cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, alfalfa, yoghurt, Soya beans are rich in this vitamin.
To a lesser extent, Vitamin K is also present in wheat and oats. Animal products are found to contain only minimal traces of K vitamin. Cow’s milk is found to contain more of this vitamin when compared to human milk.
Vitamin K gets manufactured by bacteria within healthy intestines. The process of intestinal production of Vitamin K gets enhanced in the presence of cultured milk, like yogurt. So, it is advisable to take in such victuals in diet in order to increase the production of K vitamin.
Vitamin K is present in two natural forms. Vitamin K1, also referred to as phylloquinone is normally found in plants. Vitamin K2, also called menaquinone, gets synthesized by many bacteria. The manmade version of Vitamin K is menadione.
Vitamin K is essential for our body as it helps in the clotting of blood. It is also required for the effective synthesis of the liver protein that controls the clotting. Vitamin K is also necessary for the formation of prothrombin, which is the precursor to thrombin. Thrombin is a major blood clotting factor. It is also involved in the proper formation and repair of bones.
A deficiency of Vitamin K, especially in newborn babies, leads to hemorrhagic disease. It also paves way to postoperative bleeding. Other symptoms manifested by the shortage of K vitamin include frequent nosebleeds and internal hemorrhaging.