Saturday, February 4, 2023

Health – promoting vitamin


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Health – promoting vitamin


It was the Dutch biochemist Carl Peter Henrik Dam who discovered the health-promoting vitamin K . It is responsible for blood clotting.

He received the Nobel Prize in 1943 for the discovery of vitamin K, one of the fat-soluble vitamins & observed that chicks fed a defatted diet did not clot and bled.

He found that the bleeding did not stop after feeding him a diet containing other health -promoting vitamins A, D, and E. After feeding him a diet of alfalfa and rotten fish, the blood began to clot properly.

He discovered that the fine substance in these substances, which acts as a cause of blood coagulation, is a new type of fat-soluble Health vitamin, and named it vitamin ‘K’.


Vitamin ‘K’ – Functions


Vitamin K performs three very important functions in the human body. They help in blood clotting, biochemical changes in bones and regulation of calcium levels needed for blood clotting.

The most important of these is its role in blood clotting.

Thus, vitamin K has another name as “Blood coagulating vitamin”.


Blood clotting and vitamin “K”.


It is a well-known fact that when there is a bruise, cut, laceration or injury anywhere on the body, blood flows out.

Bleeding, or oozing, may occur for approximately 1 to 9 minutes. This is an average size.

After that, the bleeding slows down a little, and clots form at the site in a viscous or semi-solid state, stopping the bleeding.

This is what we call “blood clotting”. This event usually takes 10 to 13 seconds to complete.

When this blood clotting time increases, more bleeding occurs, and when the time decreases, solid matter forms very quickly, depending on other substances in the blood and vitamin ‘K’.

Blood clotting occurs in four stages. They are the narrowing of the crushed fine blood vessels at the site of the injury, the blood platelets in the blood causing a temporary blockage, the outflowing blood gradually reaching a solid state, and finally, the material ‘fibrin’ in the blood forms a fine mesh over the wound and stops the bleeding.

About 13 factors are required for blood clotting to occur. These include fibrinogen, prothrombin, thromboplastin and calcium ions in the blood.

Vitamin ‘K’ type and foods


Vitamin K is available in nature in three forms. They are vitamin K1 (phylloquinones), vitamin K2 (menaquinones) and vitamin K3 (menadione). These include K1 in dark green leafy vegetables and legumes, K2 in bacterially fermented grains and dairy products, and K3 in synthetically produced pharmaceuticals and fortified foods.

Beetroot and turnip greens, dark green leafy vegetables, spinach etc. contain 100 micrograms to 500 micrograms of vitamin K per 100 grams. Other nuts contain 30 to 80 micrograms of vitamin K per 100 grams.

Dairy products and cereals contain 10 micrograms or less per 100 grams. When one eats these in a balanced diet, vitamin ‘K’ is available to the body in sufficient quantity.

Vitamin ‘K’ – required amount


For the average body weight of a human being,
1 microgram of Vitamin K is required. Therefore, a person with a body weight of 65 kg requires 65 micrograms of vitamin K.

However, the Indian Institute of Medical Research says that since vitamin K deficiency is not very serious in India and vitamin K deficiency is rare only in preterm infants, there is no need to prescribe a recommended dose for this vitamin.

In children with deficiency only, 0.5 – 1.0 mg of vitamin ‘K’ by injection is to cure the deficiency.


Deficiency of vitamin K


The main condition caused by vitamin K deficiency is excessive bleeding.

The “blood clotting” phenomenon, which sometimes occurs in 10 to 13 seconds,
When it becomes uncontrollable profuse bleeding, it can even be life-threatening.

This is due to the lack of availability of other clotting factors including vitamin K.

Although vitamin K deficiency is rare in humans, it can also be caused by long-term diseases that damage the lining of the intestine and prevent fat absorption, medical treatments for it, and certain types of liver disease.

Menadione is administered as a form of vitamin K3 to children with the congenital hemophilia that causes excessive bleeding.

A report by the United Nations Department of Agriculture has noted that sometimes elderly people who are undergoing long-term treatment for hip fractures may also be deficient in vitamin K.


Excess of Vitamin K


Vitamin K deficiency is as rare as vitamin K deficiency.

Due to the injection of too much vitamin ‘K’, the pigment ‘bilirubin’ in the blood of infants can cause brain damage.

Not so much for normal people and people with proper diet.

Hypertension can occur when certain foods such as ready-made foods, processed soft drinks, milk powder and related products, instant drinks, etc., are fortified with vitamin K, are consumed continuously for a long period of time.

Due to this, there are chances of liver damage and jaundice and anemia. Therefore, you should avoid eating processed foods continuously.


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