What Is Vitamin K?
Vitamin K is a type of vitamin found most often in green leaves which helps human blood in the clotting process. There are three vitamins in the Vitamin K family: phylloquinon, menaquinone, and menadione. These three vitamins’ names usually are shorted to Vitamins K1, K2, and K3.
Taking Vitamin K helps those who have trouble with blood clotting. It modifies certain proteins which aid in coagulation, which helps in the synthesis of a blood clotting enzyme prothrombin, which is found in the liver. If you are taking blood thinners, you should consult a doctor before taking Vitamin K.
What Foods Contain Vitamin K?
Vitamin K is found in foods ranging from green leafy vegetables and green beans to dairy products and eggs. A variety of fruits, vegetables, meats, and cereals also contain vitamin K.
The main fruits and vegetables which contain vitamin K are spinach, cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli, parsley, kale, cauliflower, Swiss chard, avocado, and kiwis.
Here are the three versions you’ll find in drug stores. I’ll discuss each of these vitamins, so you’ll know what each can do for you and your general health.
- Vitamin K1 – Phylloquinone
- Vitamin K2 – Menaquinone
- Vitamin K3 – Menadione
Phylloquinone – Vitamin K1
Phylloquinone is the vitamin you’re most likely to be equated with vitamin K. Phylloquinone is produced in the human intestine. If you drink cultured milk products like yogurt, this increasing the function of the intestines in producing phylloquinone. Phylloquinone is found in green plants, while the next vitamin k is created by bacteria.
Menaquinone – Vitamin K2
Vitamin K2 is synthesized by bacteria. This vitamin comes in many subtypes, usually menaquinone-4 (MK4) or menaquinone-7 (MK7). MK4 is created by the human body by conversion of vitamin K1, which is converted in the pancreas, arterial walls, and testes. MK7 is converted from phylloquinone in human intestines by gut bacteria.
MK4 helps prevent bone loss or bone fractures in patients who have suffered cirrhosis of the liver, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson diesease, anorexia nervosa, and the use of corticosteroids. MK7 has shown no such abilities in clinical trials.
Menadione – Vitamin K3
Menadione is a synthetic version of vitamin K. While natural vitamin K is fat soluble, menadione is water soluble, so taking this version of vitamin k bypasses the usual utilization process of the body.
Menadione is sometimes added to dogfood, instead of vitamin K1. There is some controversy about whether menadione is safe for this purpose, as there has been evidence that this version of vitamin k might build up, weakening the immune system and causing skin irritation and mucus membrane irritation, and sometime allergic reactions and eczcema. Instead of menadione, some dog foods contain natural green plant supplements like alfalfa, kelp, nettle leaf, spirulina, or blue-green algae.
For those who want to avoid pet foods with synthetic vitamin K, vitamin K-3, or menadione, here are various names synonymous with menadione on dog food package ingredients lists.
- Menadione sodium bisulfate
- Menadione sodium bisulfite
- Vitamin K supplement
- Dimethylprimidinol sulfate
- Dimethylprimidinol sulfite
- Dimethylprimidinol bisulfate
- Menadione dimethylprimidinol sulfate
- Menadione dimethylprimidinol sulfite
- Menadione dimethylprimidinol bisulfite
As you can see, there are specific significant differences between the three broad vitamin k types, especially the synthetic vitamin K-3. I wanted to include this selection for dog lovers who want to care for their pets. Now that the controversial section of our discussion is out of the way, let’s talk about the known benefits of natural vitamin-k.
More Health Benefits of Vitamin K
Plastic surgeons and other doctors sometimes use vitamin k to stop blood hemorrhages and excessive bleeding. The vitamin also helps soothe sensitive, damage skin. Vitamin K is sometimes used to calm down outbreaks of couperose, better known these days as rosacea.
Vitamin K may have benefits for the very old and the very young. It is thought to maintain strong bones in aged people. Also, babies usually have low levels of vitamin K. In either case, talk to your doctor before administering vitamin K.
Using Vitamin K
Phyllaquinone is an important suppliment if you have trouble with thin blood or you’re aging and want help keeping your bones strong. When taking new substances into your body, read as much about it to learn the benefits and side effects. Even beneficent vitamins can produce effects in your body, so read as much as possible and consult a doctor when taking vitamin-k if you have had a history of blood clotting. If you’re having problems with your blood coagulation, then taking vitamin K might help increase the length and quality of your life.