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Vitamin K

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Vitamin K is made up of a number of similar fat-soluble compounds. Vitamin K is essential for the production of proteins involved in blood coagulation. In addition, vitamin K is needed to make proteins that are involved in the health of bones and arteries.

Vitamin K deficiency is a life-threatening condition because without blood clotting we can bleed to death, but it is very rare, mostly occurring when someone has been on a long course of antibiotics or has a fatty liver disease. Vitamin K deficiency is more common in newborn babies.

Vitamin K-rich foods:

  • Green leafy vegetables (broccoli, spinach, kale, lettuce)
  • Beetroot
  • Soybeans
  • Cashew nuts
  • Pine nuts
  • Beef
  • Olive oil

Recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin K:

  • 0-6 months of age 2.0 mg
  • 7-12 months of age: 2.5 mg
  • 1 to 3 years of age: 30 mcg            
  • 4-8 years: 55 mcg            
  • 9-13 years: 60 mcg         
  • 14-18 years: 75 mcg
  • Over 19 years: 120 mcg for men, 90 mcg for women
  • Pregnancy: 90 mg, breastfeeding: 90 mg

The maximum tolerable upper limit for vitamin K is not specified as it is not expected to cause breast effects even in high amounts.