Overview of vitamin K
- Sassan Pazirandeh, MD
Sassan Pazirandeh, MD
- Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
- Kaiser Permanente Medical Center
- David L Burns, MD
David L Burns, MD
- Associate Professor of Medicine
- Tufts University School of Medicine
- Section Editors
- Timothy O Lipman, MD
Timothy O Lipman, MD
- Section Editor — Nutrition
- GI-Hepatology-Nutrition Section
- Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center
- Kathleen J Motil, MD, PhD
Kathleen J Motil, MD, PhD
- Section Editor — Pediatric Nutrition
- Professor of Pediatric Nutrition
- Baylor College of Medicine
Vitamins are a number of chemically unrelated families of organic substances that cannot be synthesized by humans but need to be ingested in the diet in small quantities to prevent disorders of metabolism. They are divided into water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins (table 1).
More than 50 years ago, Henrik Dam of Denmark discovered an "antihemorrhagic factor" that was capable of reversing dietary-induced bleeding disorders in chicks . The name "K" comes from the German/Danish word koagulationsvitamin (clotting vitamin) .
In 1930, vitamin K was first isolated by Doisy and his colleagues, as well as by Dam, from alfalfa sprouts . Until the 1980s, when chromatographic techniques were used, the mainstay of vitamin K isolation was through using chick bioassay .
This topic review will focus on vitamin K. Overviews of the other fat-soluble vitamins, minerals and water-soluble vitamins are available elsewhere. (See "Overview of vitamin A" and "Overview of vitamin D" and "Overview of vitamin E" and "Overview of dietary trace minerals" and "Overview of water-soluble vitamins" and "Vitamin supplementation in disease prevention".)
Dietary vitamin K1 (phylloquinone or phytonadione) is found in green vegetables like spinach and broccoli (table 2) . Gut micro-flora synthesizes vitamin K2 (menaquinones, including menatetrenone), which provides a portion of the dietary requirement of vitamin K . Vitamin K2 has approximately 60 percent of the activity of vitamin K1, by weight, but bioavailability of both forms varies substantially depending on other intraluminal nutrients .To continue reading this article, you must log in with your personal, hospital, or group practice subscription. For more information on subscription options, click below on the option that best describes you:
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- Coagulation pathway
- Antithrombotic effects of proteins C and S
- Mechanism of action of the coumarin-like family
- Bone formation
- Laboratory evaluation
- Vitamin K deficient bleeding in newborns and young infants
- Daily value
- Parenteral nutrition
- Interference with oral anticoagulant therapy
- Treatment of coagulopathy
- Prevention of vitamin K deficient bleeding in newborns
- INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS