Vitamin K

Vitamin K is necessary for blood clotting. Without it, even a small cut would cause continuous bleeding in the body. Vitamin K also plays an important role in kidney function and bone growth and repair - some studies have even shown that it may help prevent osteoporosis.

Nutritionists categorize vitamins by the materials that a vitamin will dissolve in. There are two categories: water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins—vitamins A, D, E and K—are stored in the fat tissues of the body for a few days to up to 6 months. If you get too much of a fat-soluble vitamin, it can be stored in your liver and may sometimes cause health problems. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin.

Some people take mega-doses of fat-soluble vitamins, which can lead to toxicity. Eating a normal diet of foods rich in these vitamins won't cause a problem. Remember, you only need small amounts of any vitamin.

Some health problems can make it hard for a person's body to absorb these vitamins. If you have a chronic health condition, ask your doctor about whether your vitamin absorption will be affected.

How Much Vitamin K Is Enough?
Women should consume 65 micrograms a day of vitamin K, and men should consume 80 micrograms a day of vitamin K.

Sources of Vitamin K
About half of the vitamin K necessary for good health is supplied by bacteria living in the intestine, but dietary consumption of vitamin K is also important. Good sources of vitamin K include:
* Dark, leafy green vegetables such as spinach or kale
* Beef liver
* Green tea
* Cheese

Can You Have Too Much or Too Little?
Newborns are especially prone to vitamin K deficiency, so the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends vitamin K supplementation. Vitamin K deficiency in adults is rare but it may occur in people with conditions such as cystic fibrosis and celiac disease whose bodies cannot absorb vitamins from foods properly. When it occurs, vitamin K deficiency may cause bleeding gums and skin that is easily bruised.

Vitamin K toxicity is also rare, but you should not take doses of more than 500 micrograms without talking to your doctor. Vitamin K may interfere with the effectiveness of medications such as anticoagulants (also known as blood thinners), so talk to your doctor before using a supplement that contains vitamin K.

Vitamin Storage
If you want to get the most vitamins possible from your food, refrigerate fresh produce and keep milk and grains away from strong light. Vitamins are easily destroyed and washed out during food preparation and storage. If you take vitamin supplements, store them at room temperature in a dry place that's free of moisture.

source : lifeclinic


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