Vitamin K: Contraindications, Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms

Vitamins K, K1, K2 and K3 have a fundamental role for health, after being discovered by Dr. Henrik Dam in 1935, who tried to cure chickens that had a strange hemorrhagic disease, faced with this situation, the doctor took an alfalfa and isolated vitamin k, then fed it to chickens and stopped the bleeding; years later in 1943 he won the nobel prize for medicine. Today they are made synthetically in different laboratories around the world.

As for K1, it is a natural variant, which comes from dark green leafy vegetables suchas: chard, parsley and spinach; also in broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, also in smaller quantities, in fish, liver, beef, eggs and cereals. The other variant is vitamin K2, which is produced by bacteria in the intestine. On the other hand, there is a synthetic variant known as vitamin K3, it has double potency for those patients who do not assimilate natural vitamins K, K1 and K2.

It is known as the anti-hemorrhagic vitamin or phytomenadione, but its name of vitamin K is due to a publication in a German magazine that called it “Koagulation Vitamin” the coagulation vitamin, its main function is that: to clot the blood to prevent bleeding, It also collaborates with osteocalcin, helping it to mature, promoting bone formation in the body, that is, it treats weakness in the bones.

What is vitamin K for?

If you have a wound or injury and your bleeding does not stop, this as insignificant as it may seem, could be very dangerous and would bring you serious consequences, it is because you have a deficiency of this vitamin so your blood does not clot and its use will stop bleeding, also in case you are taking blood thinning medicine, and need to reverse the effects of these, in case you have taken too many. Also, if you have excessive menstrual bleeding, it is the one to control it.

It can be given at any age, that is, its use is common in newborns who have clotting problems and are born with a deficiency of this vitamin , which is injected just hours after birth, and also in adults who suffer biliary cirrhosis , a liver disease. However, this vitamin should only be administered by specialists in health centers intravenously. It is used to prevent hardening of the arteries, it absorbs minerals such as calcium which will help you with osteoporosis .

What other name does it get

Vitamin K is known by the names of phytonadione and phytonadione , and K1 is also called phylloquinone , they differ from its menaquinone variant, that is, K2 , because it contains four isoprenoid residues, one of them is unsaturated, while menaquinone can have several and is normally produced by an intestinal bacteria, vitamin k3 is also called menadione, it is a synthetic compound.

What role does it play in our body?

Its function is mainly to bind calcium ions, which activate seven blood clotting factors, for example prothrombin, which stops bleeding through clots that form. Other proteins such as osteocalcin need vitamin K, this is regulated by vitamin D, and together they are capable of bone mineralization, which allows normal growth and development of bones.

The protein that inhibits or prevents calcification is linked to the stability of the blood vessels, present in the heart, lungs, kidneys and bones, this is called MGP, initials in English, the Matrix Gla Protein, this and Gas6 protein, dependent on vitamin K, increase and regulate cell growth, cell division, and protection against the death of these cells. Another of its functions is to intervene in the aging of the nervous system .

Diseases it prevents

The diseases it prevents are: osteoporosis, dental caries , some cancerous diseases such as lung, liver and prostate cancer, also leukemia and pneumonia, its variants prevent Alzheimer’s, and type two diabetes , its antioxidant properties will help you in many other diseases. Cardiovascular diseases and varicose veins are part of the diseases that this vitamin prevents.

Mechanism of action of vitamin K

Coenzymes operate in the carbonization of glutamic acid residues, which makes vitamin K allow the formation of the amino acid γ-carboxyglutamic, which translates into activating some proteins such as prothrombin, and coagulation factors VII, IX and X, plasma C, H, S, and Z, and osteocalcin with the GLA protein present in bone.

Anticoagulants block the formation of vitamin K, which results in a decrease in clotting factors.

Vitamin K is absorbed in different sections of the intestine, with an energy-dependent mechanism, while its menaquinone variant is absorbed by the colon, for both cases, absorption depends on biliary and pancreatic functions that are favored by the presence of fat. Then the vitamin K attaches itself to the chylomicrons and later they will pass to the low-density lipoproteins and will be transferred to the tissues. Once stored in our body they have a life of 17 hours, which means that you must consume vitamin K constantly, the k1 and k2 tend to be excreted in the urine or are conjugated with glucuronic acid. And menadione or k3 is also excreted in the urine along with sulfates and phosphates.

Administration and dosage of vitamin K

You should give vitamin K if you are bleeding from an overdose of anticoagulants (hypoprothrombinemia) due to dicoumarol, which are used in combination or alone. Also if you have hypovitaminosis, that is, the absorption of vitamin K is limited, obstructive jaundice, liver and intestinal disorders and if you have been taking antibiotics for a long time, such as salicylates and sulfonamides. And in prophylaxis, in newborns with vitamin K deficiency.

By intravenous route in adults with life-threatening hemorrhages should be administered calmly, for at least thirty seconds, from ten to twenty milligrams the first dose , then another in the following three hours, until having administered fifty milligrams if the answer is not correct. adequate, if that’s the case then you will require a blood transfusion.

Less serious bleeds require a ten milligram ampoule, intramuscularly, you should not exceed twenty milligrams , that is, after eight hours you inject the next ten milligrams of vitamin K and you may no longer require more ampoules.

The dose in the elderly should be the same as in children , that is, less than ten milligrams. In children older than one year, if the doctor prescribes it, the dose is five milligrams per day .

For healthy neonates, but with prophylaxis, one milligram intramuscularly is recommended , and for those at special risk, one milligram intravenously just after birth. It can be diluted with 0.9% sodium chloride or 5% dextrose, but should not be mixed or diluted with parenteral medications.

Contraindications to the use of Vitamin K

It is contraindicated for people with known hypersensitivity to phytomenadione , you should not administer it intramuscularly if you have anticoagulant treatment . Pay attention when using it injected, the solution has to be crystalline, if these were not stored correctly they could present separation of the phases and become cloudy, in which case you must discard them immediately.

People with liver function may have affected prothrombin, so clotting parameters will need to be carefully monitored. Coumarin anticoagulants that cause life-threatening bleeding due to overdose will be treated with this vitamin but must use transfusions.

Those with artificial heart valve implants requiring transfusions should also use fresh frozen plasma. And the dose of vitamin K should be low if you continue with the anticoagulant treatment.

If you are pregnant , phytomenadione will be administered if the benefit to the mother outweighs the risk to the fetus since vitamin K1 hardly crosses the placental barrier. While the baby generally requires this vitamin injected at birth, in lactation only a very small fraction passes the baby, if the mother needs to take this vitamin, her baby will not be at risk while breastfeeding.

Adverse reactions

If you inject it intravenously, anaphylactoid reactions could appear, perhaps an adverse reaction would be venous irritation, although very few cases have been reported. And if you inject it intramuscularly, bruises may appear, generally in people who have taken oral anticoagulants and possibly a local irritation where vitamin K was injected.

Benefits of vitamin K for the body

Vitamin K has several benefits that I already mentioned, however here I present some others in detail:

For the skin

If you have fine veins on your skin, bruises, scars, even burns and stretch marks , you can apply the vitamin topically, it will also benefit you on the pimples on the face and rosaceae.

Read this article for more information on caring for your skin Best Exfoliators: Tips and Home Remedies

For dark circles

If your problem is dark circles, a darkened area around your eyes, the clotting power of this vitamin will make those clots circulate and will eliminate your dark circles, generally this vitamin is contained in some night creams.

You can read these tips to eliminate dark circles.

For varicose veins

Varicose veins are an annoying problem if you like to show your legs, which is where they generally appear, to solve it although somewhat slowly, vitamin K is effective, stops bleeding, cleanses the blood that accumulates in varicose veins and prevents surgeries.

For menstrual bleeding

If during your menstrual period you want your bleeding not to be excessive, and to last little, the vitamin will control that bleeding, and will prevent hormonal imbalance, normalizing estrogen and progesterone, your endometrium will maintain its normal size, and will help you with menorrhagia that can cause diseases such as fibroids, or simply pelvic inflammation.

For nosebleeds

When you have little vitamin K in your body, it is easy for a blood vessel to rupture, and if this happens due to an injury to your nose, the bleeding will be abundant, which could scare you. Try to consume this vitamin so that you avoid this bleeding.

The following article will help you improve your immune system.

Food where it is found

Among the names by which vitamin K is known, they could make you think that only experts can supply you with this vitamin, however there are some foods where you can get them and eat them yourself, for example:

  • Basil,
  • Dried thyme,
  • Parsley,
  • Cilantro,
  • Oregano .

As well as vegetables that have a dark colored leaf, example:

  • Cabbage,
  • watercress,
  • spinach,
  • turnip greens,
  • mustard,
  • beet,
  • chard,
  • broccoli,
  • lettuce,
  • chive.

Other foods are:

These are some, which will appear in the table at the end of this article. You should know that if you take anticoagulants, they will interfere with the absorption of the vitamin , and also if you consume alcohol in excess. Foods of animal origin and artificially also provide you with this vitamin.

Vitamin K in foods of animal and vegetable origin

In these foods you will find vitamin K:

  • ew ,
  • cow liver,
  • fish liver,
  • dairy such as milk, cheese, yogurt, butter,
  • lamb, beef and chicken meats.

And those of vegetable origin, apart from those already mentioned, are:

Broccoli also benefits your health, did you know? Read the following article to find out more Broccoli: 21 Health and sports benefits, types, calories, recipes and how to consume it

Recipes rich in vitamin K

Below you will learn two recipes for you to consume vitamins K in a delicious way, vegetarian style, or with a rich beef.

Potato and spinach roll


  • 400 grams of potatoes,
  • 100 grams of boiled spinach,
  • Butter,
  • a little bit of Parmesan cheese,
  • nutmeg,
  • Salt

With these ingredients you will get this tasty potato roll with spinach.


  • For its preparation you must first cook the potatoes, when they soften (20-30 minutes of cooking), proceed to peel and puree them by crushing them with a fork, and add ten grams of creamy butter, the cheese and the nutmeg, finally the salt to your liking.
  • Then you must drain the spinach , chop it and fry it with a little butter and salt.
  • With the flour, sprinkle it on a tray and spread layers of the puree in parts, about two centimeters place the spinach and on top another layer of puree, make rolls, and close the ends.
  • Sprinkle them again with flour, heat a nonstick skillet with butter and fry the rolls until golden brown. Serve it hot and enjoy.

Beef with carrot and broccoli.

This recipe is for two people, you must have on hand.


  • two tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • two cloves of garlic ,
  • 250 grams of meat (the one you like the most, we recommend veal),
  • 200 grams of broccoli,
  • a carrot cut into sticks,
  • an onion cut into squares,
  • shall,
  • sugar ,
  • I am willow,
  • oyster sauce.


  • You must heat the oil in a pan where you are going to add the garlic, and the meat, you are going to stir until it changes color, add the broccoli and the carrot , continue stirring and incorporate the onion.
  • Sauté everything together for 30 seconds, and season with salt, a little sugar, soy sauces and oysters.
  • Continue cooking to integrate all the flavors for a few more minutes. Once ready, serve preferably with rice .

The following article can help you with a correct diet you should read it 20 Foods for your brain and your well-being !!!

Amount of vitamin K in food

The following table will provide you with all the information on the foods that contain vitamin K and the amount per hundred grams.

FountainVitamin K (mg / 100 g)
Dried sage2143
Dried thyme2143
Tender garlic259
Brussels sprouts242
I am oil230
Dry tomatoes54
Roasted cashews43

Vitamin K deficiency

You must be very attentive to the symptoms that show you that you are deficient in vitamin K, and thus, take the necessary measures and do not wait to have a serious bleeding to consume this vitamin in the foods described above.

Symptoms of deficiency of this vitamin

When your body has a very low level of vitamin K you will have several symptoms that will help you to know it, however it is good to do a laboratory test that will measure the clotting time , if you suspect that you have vitamin K deficiency, rule out the following symptoms:

  • Bruises, bruises that appear on their own.
  • Nosebleed.
  • Gum bleeding.
  • Presence of blood in your urine or stool.
  • Very heavy and excessive menstrual bleeding .
  • Bleeding in minor injuries and wounds.
  • If you take blood thinners in excess.

If you are interested in learning more about vitamins, be sure to read this article. The Top 10 Vitamins and Minerals: Do we need supplements for our health?

Vitamin K Supplements

If by some chance you cannot take enough foods from this group and you want to add a vitamin K supplement , look at some of the best in amazon, think that an excess of vitamins is not good, so choose only the one that you lack.

  • Vitamin K Natural 100 Solgar 100 mcg tablets.
  • Solaray Vitamin K Pills – Pack of 60.
  • Pure Science Vitamin K2 (MK – 7) 120mcg – Natto Extract. Increases the mineral density of bones, strengthens bones and reduces vulnerability to fractures – 50 vegetarian capsules .
  • Now Foods, Vitamin K2, 100 Capsules.
  • Vitamin K2 supplement. 90 Vegetarian Capsules. High resistance 600 mcg. Source of Vitamin K. Advanced Formulation that supports bone mineralization and calcium absorption.
  • Fairvital – Super K Komplex. 90 capsules of vitamins K1 and K2 – Phytomenadion (K1) and menaquinone MK-4 and MK-7.
  • VITAMIN K COMPLEX capsules. 100 mcg Vitamin K1, K2 100 mcg Vitamin MK-4, 100 mcg Vitamin K2 MK-7, 25 mcg Vitamin D3, 15 mg Zinc, 120 capsules, German quality.
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Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.

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