Vitamin K in EnergyNeeds®

vitamin c moleculeVitamin K1 (phylloquinone) is added to EnergyNeeds in order to provide a wide basis of nutrition, especially given the important role of vitamin K in blood clotting and calcium utilization. Side effects are unexpected.

The Details

What Is Vitamin K? 

Vitamin K refers to a group of similar, fat-soluble, compounds. Vitamin K cannot be manufactured by humans and is thus a true vitamin, obtained exclusively from the diet.

What Does Vitamin K Do? 

Vitamin K is an enzyme cofactor for proteins that are needed for blood coagulation, in particular, factors II, VII, IX, and X, as well as proteins C and S. Vitamin K also assists in controlling the binding of calcium in bones and other tissues.

What Does a Vitamin K Deficiency Appear As? 

Vitamin K deficiency can develop in certain conditions, especially in severe gastrointestinal disease. In vitamin K deficiency, blood coagulation is impaired, and uncontrolled bleeding occurs. Additionally, deficiency can lead to osteoporosis (weakened bones), and may promote calcification of arteries and other soft tissues.

What About Vitamin K‘s Use in Disease? 

Vitamin K is often supplemented in newborns, in individuals with liver or intestinal disease, and to reverse the blood thinning effects of the drug warfarin.

What Form of Vitamin K is Best? 

The term “vitamin K” refers to two naturally-occurring compounds, vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and vitamin K2 (several forms of menaquinone, especially types 4 (K2-4) and 7 (K2-7). Of note, The U.S. Institute of Medicine (IOM) does not distinguish between K1 and K2, and both are counted as vitamin K. Vitamin K supplementation generally involves K1 (phylloquinone), which is the form present in EnergyNeeds. Humans can convert K1 to K2-4. Gut bacteria can convert K1 into K2-4 and other forms, including K2-7. Vitamin K2-7 is found in some fermented and animal-based products, especially natto and egg yolks. Vitamin K2-7 can be supplemented, but is uncommon due to price.

What Are the Common and/or Important Side Effects of Vitamin K?

Despite being fat soluble, vitamin K is broken down very quickly, and rarely reaches toxic levels even with high intakes. Side effects are rare at usual doses used in supplementation.

Is There Any Laboratory Testing for a Vitamin K Deficiency? 

Laboratory testing can reveal the presence of a deficiency of this nutrient, but is generally not likely to have clinically utility.

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