You won't find many vitamin K supplements on store shelves, unlike vitamins whose names occur higher in the alphabet, and few people ever suffer from a deficiency. But vitamin K plays an important role in many bodily functions 1. You'll find vitamin K in eggs and other foods, and your body has the ability to make its own vitamin K.
Without vitamin K, your blood wouldn't clot properly. In fact, the K in the name of this vitamin comes from the German "Koagulationsvitamin," from the word for clot or coagulate. Your body stores vitamin K in fatty tissue 1. Though you can get vitamin K from foods, your body also makes its own vitamin K from bacteria that normally live in your intestine. Some diseases, such as Crohn's or liver disease, can inhibit your ability to process vitamin K and result in a deficiency. This can lead to hemorrhaging.
- Without vitamin K, your blood wouldn't clot properly.
- Some diseases, such as Crohn's or liver disease, can inhibit your ability to process vitamin K and result in a deficiency.
Vitamin K in Food
What Are the Benefits of Vitamin B-1 or Thiamine?
Egg yolks contain vitamin K, but only about .3 mcg per two eggs 1. Better sources include canola and soybean oil, which contain 20 to 27 mcg per tablespoon. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, collard greens and Brussels sprouts are also good sources of vitamin K. One-half cup of broccoli contains 113 mcg of vitamin K, while 1/2 cup of boiled collard greens contains 440 mcg.
The recommended daily allowance of vitamin K for an adult is 120 mcg for males and 90 mcg for females. Doctors administer an injection of vitamin K to infants at birth to help with blood clotting 1. Infants 7 to 12 months old need 2.5 mcg. Children ages 1 to 3 have a recommended daily allowance of 30 mcg, which increases to 44 mcg for 4 to 8-year-olds, 60 mcg for ages 9 to 13 and 75 mcg for ages 14 through 18.
- The recommended daily allowance of vitamin K for an adult is 120 mcg for males and 90 mcg for females.
- Children ages 1 to 3 have a recommended daily allowance of 30 mcg, which increases to 44 mcg for 4 to 8-year-olds, 60 mcg for ages 9 to 13 and 75 mcg for ages 14 through 18.
Anemia & Vitamin K
Most people get enough vitamin K from their diet and from the vitamin K their body makes. If you have a chronic illness that prevents you from absorbing vitamin K, your doctor may prescribe a supplement. Some multivitamins contain vitamin K, or you can take chlorophyll tablets or liquid 1. Like dark green vegetables, this supplement is rich in vitamin K. Vitamin K can interact with a number of medications, so alert your doctor if you're taking phenytoin, warfarin, cholesterol-lowering medications or antibiotics.
- Most people get enough vitamin K from their diet and from the vitamin K their body makes.
- Like dark green vegetables, this supplement is rich in vitamin K. Vitamin K can interact with a number of medications, so alert your doctor if you're taking phenytoin, warfarin, cholesterol-lowering medications or antibiotics.
What Are the Benefits of Vitamin B-1 or Thiamine?
Anemia & Vitamin K
What Foods Have Zinc and Cobalt in Them?
Which Foods Contain Retinoic Acid?
What Do Multivitamins Do for the Body?
Vitamins for Mononucleosis
Wheatgrass & Vitamin K
Warfarin & Eggs
How to Mix Vitamins and Antibiotics
Vitamins That Increase Blood Flow
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin K
- Holick MF, Gordon CM. Patient Guide to Vitamin D Deficiency. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2011;96(7):1-2. doi:10.1210/jcem.96.7.zeg33a
- Sunyecz JA. The use of calcium and vitamin D in the management of osteoporosis. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2008;4(4):827-836. doi:10.2147/tcrm.s3552
- Giovannucci E, Liu Y, Hollis BW, Rimm EB. 25-hydroxyvitamin D and risk of myocardial infarction in men: a prospective study. Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(11):1174-1180. doi:10.1001/archinte.168.11.1174
- Gorham ED, Garland CF, Garland FC, et al. Optimal vitamin D status for colorectal cancer prevention: a quantitative meta analysis. Am J Prev Med. 2007;32(3):210-216. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2006.11.004
- Lappe JM, Travers-Gustafson D, Davies KM, Recker RR, Heaney RP. Vitamin D and calcium supplementation reduces cancer risk: results of a randomized trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2007;85(6):1586-1591. doi:10.1093/ajcn/85.6.1586
- Prentice RL, Pettinger MB, Jackson RD, et al. Health risks and benefits from calcium and vitamin D supplementation: Women’s Health Initiative clinical trial and cohort study. Osteoporos Int. 2013;24(2):567-580. doi:10.1007/s00198-012-2224-2
- Urashima M, Segawa T, Okazaki M, Kurihara M, Wada Y, Ida H. Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;91(5):1255-1260. doi:10.3945/ajcn.2009.29094
- Salehpour A, Hosseinpanah F, Shidfar F, et al. A 12-week double-blind randomized clinical trial of vitamin D₃ supplementation on body fat mass in healthy overweight and obese women. Nutr J. 2012;11:78. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-11-78
- Carrillo AE, Flynn MG, Pinkston C, et al. Impact of vitamin D supplementation during a resistance training intervention on body composition, muscle function, and glucose tolerance in overweight and obese adults. Clin Nutr. 2013;32(3):375-381. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2012.08.014
- Marcinowska-Suchowierska E, Kupisz-Urbańska M, Łukaszkiewicz J, Płudowski P, Jones G. Vitamin D Toxicity-A Clinical Perspective. Front Endocrinol. 2018;9:550. doi:10.3389/fendo.2018.00550
- Ross AC, Manson JE, Abrams SA, et al. The 2011 report on dietary reference intakes for calcium and vitamin D from the Institute of Medicine: what clinicians need to know. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011;96(1):53-58. doi:10.1210/jc.2010-2704
- Bouillon R, Van Schoor NM, Gielen E, et al. Optimal vitamin D status: a critical analysis on the basis of evidence-based medicine. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013;98(8):E1283-E1304. doi:10.1210/jc.2013-1195
- American Academy of Dermatology. Position Statement of Vitamin D. 2010.
- Taksler GB, Cutler DM, Giovannucci E, Keating NL. Vitamin D deficiency in minority populations. Public Health Nutr. 2015;18(3):379-391. doi:10.1017/S1368980014000457
- Holick MF, Binkley NC, Bischoff-Ferrari HA, et al. Evaluation, treatment, and prevention of vitamin D deficiency: an Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011;96(7):1911-1930. doi:10.1210/jc.2011-0385
- Cannell JJ, Vieth R, Umhau JC, et al. Epidemic Influenza and Vitamin D. Epidemiol Infect. 2006; 134:1129-40.
- Carrillo AE1, Flynn MG, Pinkston C, Markofski MM, Jiang Y, Donkin SS, Teegarden D. Impact of Vitamin D Supplementation During a Resistance Training Intervention on Body Composition, Muscle Function, and Glucose Tolerance in Overweight and Obese Adults. Clin Nutr. 2013 Jun;32(3):375-81. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2012.08.014. Epub 2012 Aug 31.
- Ginde AA, Mansbach JM, Camargo CA, Jr. Association Between Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Level and Upper Respiratory Tract Infection in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Arch Intern Med. 2009; 169:384-90.
- Giovannucci E, Liu Y, Hollis BW, Rimm EB. 25-hydroxyvitamin D and Risk of Myocardial Infarction in Men: a Prospective Study. Arch Intern Med. 2008; 168:1174-80.
- Gorham ED, Garland CF, Garland FC, Grant WB, Mohr SB, Lipkin M, Newmark HL, Giovannucci E, Wei M, Holick MF. Optimal Vitamin D Status for Colorectal Cancer Prevention: a Quantitative Meta-analysis. Am J Prev Med. 2007 Mar;32(3):210-6.
- Heaney, Robert P. “The Vitamin D Requirement in Health and Disease.” The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 97 (2005):13-9.
- Holick MF. Vitamin D. In: Shils M, Olson J, Shike M, Ross AC, ed. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 9th ed. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1999.
- National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin D: Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet. University of Ottawa Evidence-based Practice Center. Effectiveness and Safety of Vitamin D in Relation to Bone Health. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Aug 2007: 07-E013.
- Salehpour A1, Hosseinpanah F, Shidfar F, Vafa M, Razaghi M, Dehghani S, Hoshiarrad A, Gohari M. A 12-week Double-blind Randomized Clinical Trial of Vitamin D₃ Supplementation on Body Fat Mass in Healthy Overweight and Obese Women. Nutr J. 2012 Sep 22;11:78. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-11-78.
- Urashima M, Segawa T, Okazaki M, Kurihara M, Wada Y, Ida H. Randomized Trial of Vitamin D Supplementation to Prevent Seasonal Influenza A in Schoolchildren. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 91:1255-60. Epub 2010 Mar 10.
- Wilkins, Consuelo H. and Yvette I. Sheline, et al. “Vitamin D Deficiency Is Associated with Low Mood and Worse Cognitive Performance in Older Adults.” American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 14 (2006): 1032-40.
Cynthia Myers is the author of numerous novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from "Historic Traveler" to "Texas Highways" to "Medical Practice Management." She has a degree in economics from Sam Houston State University.