Short notes on the functions, sources and deficiency of Vitamin –K

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Vitamin-K was founded by Dr. Dam of Copenhagen in 1935, as ‘Koagulations Vitamin’. He suggested that this vitamin was necessary to prevent fatal hemorrhages by promoting normal blood clotting.

Functions

Vitamin-K is essential for the formation of prothrombin the precursor of thrombcin, one of the factors needed for the normal coagulator function of blood.

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Sources

Vitamin-K occurs mainly in plants. Green leaves of plants such as spinach and also cabbage, cauliflower, soya bean and vegetable oils are good sources of Vitamin-K. Animal products contain much less Vitamin-K, but pork liver is a good source.

Daily Allowance

The variation in intestinal synthesis and in the diet has made it impossible to establish a daily allowance. Yet, dietary deficiency is not believed to be a problem.

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Deficiency

Vitamin-K deficiency in man generally results from faulty absorption of the Vitamin or from liver disorders, which interferes with the synthesis of pro-thrombin, rather than from a dietary lack of nutrients. Vitamin-K is supplied to the body through food, and is also manufactured by micro-organisms in the intestinal tract. Thus, there is always an adequate supply of this Vitamin. Also in case of obstructive jaundice where bile is blocked, Vitamin- K is not properly absorbed.

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