’What deficiencies can vitamin k food sources cause if not consumed in an adequate amount?’’

Introduction:
Vitamin K belongs to the family of compounds known as quinines. Two forms of the vitamin are; ‘’Phylloquinone’’ from plants sources and ‘’Menaquinones’’ from animal sources. Vitamin K can be synthesized by bacteria in intestines. The body stores most of the vitamin in the liver.

Major Functions of Vitamin K:

Vitamin K plays a key role in efficient blood clotting. It is required for the synthesis of various compounds that are essential in two steps of the blood clotting reactions. In addition vitamin K helps to increase the function of osteocalcin, a protein that is important for strengthening bones.

Dietary Recommendations and Food Sources of Vitamin K:

Phylloquinone (vitamin K1) is the major dietary form from of vitamin K, Green leafy vegetables and some vegetable oils (soybean, cottonseed, canola and olive)are major contributors of dietary vitamin K. Intestinal bacteria synthesize vitamin K.

Food Sources of Vitamin K:

Food Serving Vitamin K (mcg)
Olive Oil 1 Tablespoon 6.6
Soybean Oil 1 Tablespoon 26.1
Canola Oil 1 Tablespoon 19.7
Mayonnaise 1 Tablespoon 11.9
Broccoli Cooked 1 Cup (Chopped) 420
Kale, raw 1 Cup (Chopped) 547
Spinach, raw 1 Cup (Chopped) 120
Leaf Lettuce, raw 1 Cup (Shredded) 118
Swiss chard, raw 1 Cup (Chopped) 299
Watercress, raw 1 Cup (Chopped) 85
Parsley, raw 1 Cup (Chopped) 324

Deficiency and Excess of Vitamin K:

Toxicity is rare as body excretes it more readily than other fat soluble vitamins. Deficiency in adults is also rare. Newborn infants lack vitamin K producing bacteria and are at risk of developing deficiency especially breastfed as breast milk has little vitamin K. Deficiency leads to the important of blood clotting and hemorrhaging symptoms include easy bruising and bleeding that may lead to nosebleeds, bleeding gums, blood in the urine, blood in the stool, black stools, or extremely heavy menstrual bleeding. In infants, vitamin K deficiency may result in life-threatening bleeding within the skull (intracranial hemorrhage)

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