Vitamin K1: benefits, indications, food

What are the properties of vitamin K1? Who is it for and what are its contraindications? Learn more about this essential vitamin for building bone.


What is Vitamin K1?

Basically there are two types of vitamin K. The vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in blood clotting. This “antihaemorrhagic” vitamin is also essential for bone calcification or bone building. It is produced by intestinal flora bacteria and it is found in plant foods as well as supplements and medicines.

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The vitamin K2 (menaquinone) is beneficial for soft tissues. It is also partly produced by the body and is present in food. There is vitamin K3 (menadione), but it is a synthetic form (which becomes vitamin K2).

What are the benefits of vitamin K1?

Vitamin K1 is important for bone health. It stimulates the action of the protein hormone osteocalcin, which is part of the bone structure. For the European Food Safety Authority, food supplements at a dose of 11 µg (micrograms) / 100 g of vitamin K help to maintain normal bone function.

What are the indications and contraindications for vitamin K1?

Vitamin K1, as a drug to improve blood clotting, only in case of deficiency or risk of its occurrence. This applies to specific situations:

  • newborns and some women before giving birth;
  • treated people who can do bleeding (strong antibiotics, anticoagulants, medicines that interfere with the normal absorption of vitamin K);
  • diseases that limit the absorption of vitamin K;
  • blood clotting problems;
  • liver and gallbladder disorders.

Doctors prescribe vitamin K1 in the form of a solution for injection and an oral solution (pipettes and ampoules). The use of any anticoagulants must be reported. In the Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC) for injections, the contraindications are primarily allergies to the components of the medicine (excluding vitamin K).

Which foods are rich in vitamin K1?

The foods rich in vitamin K1 there are usually dark green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli. Vitamin K1 is also found naturally in cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, green cabbage, kale, asparagusgreen beans, chard or endives, not to mention various varieties of salads.

Some plants are excellent sources of vitamin K1, especially parsley, watercress and fennel, as well as thyme and basil. In addition, some fruits provide us with vitamin K1, such as blueberries, Kivis, pomegranate or apple. Finally, vitamin K1 is found in soybeans and soybean oil.

If some foods are better eaten raw in order to enjoy the benefits of vitamin K1, it is not sensitive to cooking. On the other hand, give preference to fresh food and protect it from light.

Why give a baby vitamin K1?

The newborns should receive vitamin K1to prevent bleeding. At birth, a person has almost no vitamin K1 because there are not enough gut bacteria to make it.

Newborns who are not at risk are given a single intramuscular injection immediately after birth or three oral doses: at birth, a few days later, and a month later. In preterm and preterm infants at risk, the injection is given at birth and, if necessary, additional doses are given. Fully born babies who are not at risk but only breastfed also receive three oral doses of vitamin K1. Breast milk is very low in vitamin K1.

These treatments are effective and safe.

What are the recommended doses and doses of vitamin K1?

The recommended levels of vitamin K1 health organizations say they are not the same. Today, the National Agency for Food, Environment and Occupational Health and Safety (Anses) needs 79 µg of vitamin K1 per day for adult men and women. Needs do not increase during pregnancy or lactation.

However, according to ANSES, the need for vitamin K1 babies is 5 µg per day and 10 µg per day after six months of age.

The children and adolescents the demand ranges from 29 µg per day to 45 µg per day.

The dose of vitamin K1 taken orally or by injection depends on the medicine. In infants, single doses are usually 1 or 2 mg, and oral doses are 2 mg. They are much smaller in preterm infants weighing less than 2.5 kg.

For adultsIt is not recommended to exceed a dose of 25 µg daily (ANSES) during treatment with vitamin K, but doses may vary from patient to patient.

What are the risks and symptoms of vitamin K1 deficiency?

Because babies are deficient in vitamin K1, they are at risk of bleeding, there is no risk of deficiency in healthy adults. A varied diet meets our need for vitamin K1. People who are deficient in vitamin K1 and need treatment are suffering from diseases (intestinal, liver, etc.), the symptoms of which are particularly frequent bleeding and bleeding. higher sensitivity to bruising.

What are the side effects of an overdose?

Excess vitamin K1 from natural sources does not cause any side effects. Even with large amounts of vitamin K-rich food every day, a healthy person does not absorb it at all, and the body removes the excess. On the other hand, people being treated with anticoagulants need to monitor their diet and Vitamin K1 treatment is contraindicated with blood thinners.

Certification: Physician Anne-Christine Della Valle, General Practitioner.

Source: Nutrition claims for vitamins and mineralsHandles.

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