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Vitamin K – Consumer

This is a reader-pleasant overview of Vitamin K. For more specifics, see our overall health expert fact sheet on Vitamin K.

What is vitamin K and what does it do?

Vitamin K is a nutrient that the overall body wants to keep wholesome. It is crucial for blood clotting and wholesome bones and also has other features in the overall body. If you are taking a blood thinner this kind of as warfarin (Coumadin®), it is quite crucial to get about the very same total of vitamin K just about every day.

How much vitamin K do I need to have?

The total of vitamin K you need to have depends on your age and sex. Average day-to-day proposed quantities are shown below in micrograms (mcg).

Existence Stage Advised Amount
Beginning to 6 months two. mcg
7–12 months two.five mcg
1–3 yrs thirty mcg
4–8 yrs 55 mcg
9–13 yrs sixty mcg
14–18 yrs seventy five mcg
Adult men 19 yrs and more mature a hundred and twenty mcg
Adult girls 19 yrs and more mature 90 mcg
Expecting or breastfeeding teenagers seventy five mcg
Expecting or breastfeeding girls 90 mcg


What foodstuff deliver vitamin K?

Vitamin K is identified the natural way in a lot of foodstuff. You can get proposed quantities of vitamin K by ingesting a wide range of foodstuff, such as the subsequent:

  • Inexperienced leafy greens, this kind of as spinach, kale, broccoli, and lettuce
  • Vegetable oils
  • Some fruits, this kind of as blueberries and figs
  • Meat, cheese, eggs, and soybeans

You can come across inbound links to more food resources of vitamin K in the final part of this fact sheet, Where by can I come across out more about Vitamin K?

What sorts of vitamin K nutritional supplements are readily available?

Vitamin K is identified in multivitamin/multimineral supplements. Vitamin K is also readily available in supplements of vitamin K alone or of vitamin K with a handful of other vitamins this kind of as calcium, magnesium, and/or vitamin D. Popular types of vitamin K in nutritional supplements are phylloquinone and phytonadione (also identified as vitamin K1), menaquinone-4, and menaquinone-seven (also identified as vitamin K2).

Am I getting enough vitamin K?

Vitamin K deficiency is quite scarce. Most persons in the United States get enough vitamin K from the foodstuff they take in. Also, germs in the colon make some vitamin K that the overall body can absorb. However, sure groups of persons may have issues getting enough vitamin K:

  • Newborns who really don’t acquire an injection of vitamin K at start
  • People with disorders (this kind of as cystic fibrosis, celiac sickness, ulcerative colitis, and small bowel syndrome) that lessen the total of vitamin K their overall body absorbs
  • People who have experienced bariatric (bodyweight reduction) surgical treatment

What happens if I will not get enough vitamin K?

Intense vitamin K deficiency can induce bruising and bleeding complications simply because the blood will get for a longer period to clot. Vitamin K deficiency might lower bone strength and improve the danger of getting osteoporosis simply because the overall body wants vitamin K for wholesome bones.

What are some outcomes of vitamin K on overall health?

Scientists are learning vitamin K to recognize how it affects our overall health. In this article are some examples of what this investigation has demonstrated.


Vitamin K is crucial for wholesome bones. Some investigation displays that persons who take in more vitamin K-prosperous foodstuff have more powerful bones and are fewer possible to break a hip than those people who take in fewer of these foodstuff. A handful of reports have identified that taking vitamin K supplements enhances bone strength and the possibilities of breaking a bone, but other reports have not. Extra investigation is necessary to much better recognize if vitamin K supplements can assistance enhance bone overall health and lower osteoporosis danger.

Coronary coronary heart sickness

Scientists are learning irrespective of whether very low blood stages of vitamin K improve the danger of coronary coronary heart sickness, perhaps by earning blood vessels that feed the coronary heart stiffer and narrower. Extra investigation is necessary to recognize irrespective of whether vitamin K supplements might assistance avert coronary heart sickness.

Can vitamin K be harmful?

Vitamin K has not been demonstrated to induce any damage. However, it can interact with some prescription drugs, specially warfarin (Coumadin®)—see the data below.

Does vitamin K interact with prescription drugs or other nutritional supplements?

Sure, some prescription drugs may interact with vitamin K. In this article are a handful of examples:

Warfarin (Coumadin®)

Vitamin K can have a serious interaction with the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin®). If you get warfarin, make confident that the total of vitamin K you eat from food and supplements is about the very same each and every day. A unexpected adjust in the total of vitamin K you get can induce unsafe bleeding (if you eat fewer) or blood clots (if you eat more).


Antibiotics can ruin the superior germs in your intestine. Some of these germs make vitamin K. Working with antibiotics for more than a handful of months may lower the total of vitamin K produced in your intestine and hence, the total readily available for your overall body to use.

Bile acid sequestrants

Some persons get bile acid sequestrants (this kind of as cholestyramine [Questran®] and colestipol [Colestid®]) to lessen blood cholesterol stages. These prescription drugs can lower the total of vitamin K your overall body absorbs, especially if you get them for a lot of yrs.


Orlistat (Alli® and Xenical®) is a bodyweight-reduction drug. It cuts down the total of extra fat your overall body absorbs and can lessen the absorption of vitamin K.

Convey to your physician, pharmacist, and other health care suppliers about any nutritional supplements and prescription or more than-the-counter medications you get. They can explain to you if the nutritional supplements might interact with your medications or if the medications might interfere with how your overall body absorbs, employs, or breaks down vitamins this kind of as vitamin K.

Vitamin K and healthful ingesting

People really should get most of their vitamins from food and beverages, according to the federal government’s Nutritional Tips for People. Food items incorporate natural vitamins, minerals, nutritional fiber, and other components that reward overall health. In some situations, fortified foodstuff and nutritional supplements are helpful when it is not doable to meet wants for one or more vitamins (e.g., in the course of particular existence stages this kind of as pregnancy). For more data about developing a wholesome nutritional pattern, see the Nutritional Tips for Peopleexternal link disclaimer and the U.S. Section of Agriculture’s MyPlate.external link disclaimer

Where by can I come across out more about Vitamin K?

  • For common data on vitamin K:
  • For more data on food resources of vitamin K:
    • Place of work of Nutritional Health supplements Wellbeing Expert Actuality Sheet on Vitamin K
    • U.S. Section of Agriculture’s (USDA) FoodData Centralexternal link disclaimer
    • USDA Nutrient Lists for vitamin K as either:
      • Phylloquinone, the type of vitamin K identified in eco-friendly leafy greens, shown by food or by written content, or
      • Menaquinone, a type of vitamin K identified in fermented foodstuff and foodstuff that arrive from animals, shown by food or by written content
  • For more guidance on deciding on nutritional supplements:
  • For data about developing a wholesome nutritional pattern:


This fact sheet by the Place of work of Nutritional Health supplements (ODS) presents data that really should not get the put of healthcare guidance. We inspire you to communicate to your health care suppliers (physician, registered dietitian, pharmacist, and many others.) about your curiosity in, concerns about, or use of nutritional supplements and what may be finest for your general overall health. Any mention in this publication of a particular products or company, or recommendation from an firm or expert society, does not depict an endorsement by ODS of that products, company, or qualified guidance.

Up-to-date: March 22, 2021 Heritage of adjustments to this fact sheet