Vitamin K

What it does:

  • Makes proteins that cause your blood to coagulate, or clot, when you bleed. That way, bleeding stops.
  • Helps your body make some other body proteins for your blood, bones, and kidneys.

Ifyou don'tget enough: Blood doesn't coagulate normally. Except for rare health problems, a deficiency of vitamin K is very unlikely. Prolonged use of antibiotics could be a problem since they destroy some bacteria in your intestines that produce vitamin K.

If you consume excess amounts: No symptoms have been observed, but moderation is still the best

Have You Ever Wondered

Have You Ever Wondered

  • if hair analysis is a valid way to diagnose a vitamin or mineral deficiency? Except to detect poisonous elements such as lead or arsenic, hair analysis isn't a valid way to check your nutritional status. Why? Hair grows slowly; the condition of hair strands differs along their length. Chemicals used to clean and treat hair affect its composition. Differences in age and gender also affect the quality of hair. Too often, those who promote hair analysis for nutrition reasons are also trying to promote dietary supplements. Buyer, beware!
  • if vitamin E or other nutrients in skin moisturizers gets rid of wrinkles? Vitamins, amino acids, cocoa butter, or other nutrients in skin creams and cosmetics can't remove or prevent aging skin. The only possible exception is Retin-A, sold by prescription, which may slow the process. However, there's no research on its long-term effects. Protecting your skin from damage caused by ultraviolet light (sunshine) is the most important way you can slow the process of wrinkling. Moisturizing your skin daily with skin cream, preferably one containing a sun block of SPF 15 or more, will help, too. Healthful eating overall promotes healthy skin.

approach. People taking blood-thinning drugs, or anticoagulants, need to eat foods with vitamin K in moderation. Too much can make blood clot faster. No Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) is established.

How much you need: The Adequate Intake (AI) advises 75 micrograms daily for teens ages fourteen to eighteen. During adulthood the intake goes up: 120 micrograms daily for men and 90 micrograms daily for women. Neither pregnancy nor breast-feeding increases the recommendation. To make sure infants have enough, newborns typically receive a shot of vitamin K.

Where it's mostly found: Like vitamin D, your body can produce vitamin K on its own—this time from certain bacteria in your intestines.

The best food sources are green, leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli. However, a variety of foods provide smaller amounts, including some fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

Vitamin K (mcg) 145 45

Food

Spinach, raw (1 cup) Broccoli, raw (V2 cup) Black-eyed peas, cooked

(^ cup) Canola oil (1 tbsp.) Blueberries (^ cup) Pine nuts (1 oz.) Pistachios (1 oz.) Raspberries (^ cup)

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