Vitamin K: K for “Koagulation”

The vitamin K is known for the role it plays in the coagulation. It is produced by the body, but can also be the subject of food intake. The article serves as a guide for those who wish to know the different actions of this micronutrient in the body. It is also good to know how a vitamin K deficiency and what are the nutritional intake advised.

What is Vitamin K?

It is a fat-soluble vitamin. It is a German term, “Koagulation” which was at the origin of its name, which also refers to its role in the coagulation blood. It is generally found in the following two forms: phylloquinone or vitamin K1 and menaquinone or vitamin K2. The first form is found in plants, mainly green vegetables and the second comes from foods of animal origin, but it is also produced by bacteria that evolve in the colon or appear during the fermentation process of certain foods such as cheese.

The action of vitamin K in the body

Vitamin K1 is the one that plays a role in the coagulation. The latter allows the activation of several factors responsible for this coagulation. The goal is to avoid a hemorrhagic phenomenon. Vitamin K2 will participate, for its part, rather in the calcification of all the soft tissues. In addition, an equally recent discovery by researchers confirms that the vitamin helps the protein osteocalcin, responsible for bone calcification. Finally, the latter would also participate in the growth of the bones of young children and adolescents, but would also be involved in the prevention of osteoporosis in older subjects. In general, the vitamin K is essential for bone health.

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What foods provide a nutritional intake of this vitamin?

The foods that contain the most vitamin K1 are mainly leafy vegetables. It is found in spinach (387 µg/100 g), salads (100 to 298 µg/100 g) and cabbage (110 to 140 µg/100 g). It is also present in soybean (362 µg/100 g) and rapeseed (70 µg/100 g) oils which also contain it. The other categories of oils or even vegetables and fruits contain it, but in low doses.

As far as vitamin K2 is concerned, livers (62 µg/100g) or fermented milk products (48 µg/100 g) are good sources. In addition, you should know that algae are also very rich in vitamin K. Finally, the micro-organisms in the human colon are able to provide it, but its assimilation remains low.

In reality, the daily needs are certainly higher than the official figures put forward. Indeed, the new functions of the vitamin call into question the achievements.

Symptoms of a deficiency

The deficiency occurs especially in newborns. For this, it is advisable to provide them with a contribution. In an adult, the case is rare, but can occur in acute diseases of the liver or bile ducts. Moreover, the deficiency could lead to a problem of coagulation blood. Drug treatment is essential.


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