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Know Which Vitamin Helps in Blood Clotting?

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 04/01/2024
  • 2 min read

Our bodies are complex systems, finely tuned to maintain a delicate balance between various functions. One such critical process is blood clotting, a mechanism that prevents excessive bleeding when we are injured.

But do you know which vitamin is essential for blood clotting? Behind the scenes, there's a silent hero playing a pivotal role in this process – Vitamin K.

In this blog, we'll delve into the fascinating world of blood clotting and explore the indispensable contribution of Vitamin K.

Importance of Blood Clotting

Coagulation, or blood clotting, plays a prominent role in the repair of blood vessels. Blood is pumped throughout the heart via arteries, and blood returns to the heart via veins.

When the blood vessels are injured, the body initiates the blood clotting process through which the damage is repaired to prevent haemorrhage or bleeding. Through the aid of certain clotting factors, the process of coagulation is triggered in the body.

Clotting factors are components found in the plasma and are associated with the process of blood clotting. However, for the body to function efficiently, the process of coagulation has to have perfect balance.

This is because too much clotting can cause a heart attack or a stroke, as the clots may clog the vessels. Contrarily, poor clotting may lead to excessive blood loss, even with a mild injury to the vessels.

Now that we understand the importance of coagulation, let us examine which are the essential vitamins for blood clots.

Which Vitamin is Essential for Blood Clotting?

A strong correlation has been observed between vitamin K and blood coagulation. As mentioned earlier, clotting factors are elements within plasma associated with coagulation, and while there are as many as 13 of these, only two are considered clotting factors.

Here are some vitamin K blood clotting factors: II, VII, IX, and X. This means that to produce these factors, the liver uses vitamin K.

While vitamin K is an essential nutrient for the body to remain healthy, it is generally regarded as a blood-clotting vitamin for its role in coagulation. In addition to this, vitamin K also ensures you have healthy bones.

Essentially, vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin which is available in two forms:

Phylloquinone is the primary kind and is found in leafy greens

Menaquinones are found in fermented foods and animal foods. The bacteria present in the human body can also produce menaquinones.

Now that we have understood the association between vitamin K and blood coagulation, let’s take a deeper dive into exploring the role of blood clotting vitamin K in coagulation.

Function of Vitamin K in Blood Clotting

Prothrombin is an important protein that is needed for bone metabolism and coagulation. The reason why vitamin K is considered an essential vitamin required for blood clotting is that no prothrombin can be produced without it. The blood clotting vitamin K helps regulate the process of blood coagulation by aiding the transformation of certain coagulation factors into their mature forms.

To understand in detail the function of vitamin K in blood clotting, it is important to be acquainted with haemostasis (where haemo refers to blood and stasis refers to stopping). Haemostasis can be segregated into two sections: primary and secondary.

In primary haemostasis, a platelet plug surrounds the site of the damaged blood vessel. In secondary haemostasis, fibrin - a kind of protein mesh - is developed which reinforces the platelet plug. To get to fibrin, certain coagulation factors must be activated and as we observed in the previous section, the assimilation of vitamin K blood clotting factors is essential for the process of coagulation.

After exploring in detail the function of vitamin K in blood clotting, let’s discover some food sources of the special vitamin.

Food Sources of Vitamin K

Unlike other vitamins, vitamin K cannot be administered as a dietary supplement but it can be found in green leafy veggies, vegetable oils, and cereal grains, as well as in meat, dairy, and (to some degree) fermented foods. In addition to this, vitamin K is also produced in the flora of the intestine.

In most individuals, getting the Daily Value (DV) of 120 mcg should prevent an insufficiency. Here is a list of foods comprising vitamin K:

Leafy Greens:

Kale: 531 mcg contains 443% of the DV

Mustard greens: 415 mcg contains 346% of the DV

Swiss chard: 398 mcg contains 332% of the DV

Collard greens: 386 mcg contains 322% of the DV

Spinach: 145 mcg contains 121% of the DV

Beet greens: 349 mcg contains 290% of the DV

Vegetables:

Natto: 313 mcg contains 261% of the DV

Broccoli: 110 mcg contains 92% of the DV

Brussels sprouts: 109 mcg contains 91% of the DV

Green peas: 21 mcg contains 17% of the DV

Green beans: 30 mcg 25% of the DV

Avocado: 21 mcg contains 18% of the DV

Cabbage: 82 mcg 68% of the DV

Fresh parsley: 164 mcg contains 137% of the DV

Meat:

Chicken: 51 mcg contains 43% of the DV

Bacon: 30 mcg contains 25% of the DV

Pork liver: 6.6 mcg contains 6% of the DV

Fruits:

Prunes: 28 mcg contain 24% of the DV

Kiwi: 28 mcg contains 23% of the DV

Blackberries: 14 mcg contains 12% of the DV

Blueberries: 14 mcg contains 12% of the DV

*Dairy and others: *

Hard cheeses: 25 mcg contains 20% of the DV

Soft cheeses: 17 mcg contains 14% of the DV

Whole milk: 3.2 mcg contains 3% of the DV

Soybean oil: 25 mcg contains 21% of the DV

The aforementioned foods all contain blood clotting vitamins and can be included in the diet for a nutritious meal.

Recommended Vitamin Intake

The age and sex of the individual play a prominent role in determining the amount of vitamin K that should be included in their diet. Generally, however, adults need about 1 microgram of vitamin K per day per kilogram of body weight. Based on the respected age groups, here is the recommended intake of vitamin K:

Infants aged between 0 to 6 months 2 mcg
Infants aged between 6 months to 1 year 2.5 mcg
Children aged between 1 to 3 years 30 mcg
Children aged between 4 to 8 years 55 mcg
Children aged between 9 to 13 years  60 mcg
Children aged between 14 to 18 years 75 mcg
Men above the age of 19 years  120 mcg
Women above the age of 19 years  90 mcg
Lactating women above the age of 19 years 90 mcg

Side Effects of Overconsumption of Vitamin K

Although the K vitamin is required for blood clotting, maintaining balance is crucial by consuming it in moderation. Although it won’t be toxic even when consumed in large amounts, yet, toxicity can occur owing to menadione, frequently referred to as vitamin K3.

An excessive amount of vitamin K3 may lead to a reduction in blood sugar levels, so individuals with diabetes must monitor their levels if they are supplementing their diet with vitamin K. Jaundice and anaemia could be other side effects from overconsumption of vitamin K.

In Conclusion

Deep diving into vitamins for blood clots has crowned vitamin K as the winner. Just as vitamin K in your diet keeps you from bleeding excessively if injured, a comprehensive health insurance plan secures your health in case of health-related emergencies.

A medical insurance plan acts as your financial safety net in case you need to attend to any health ailments. Without health insurance, health-related concerns could significantly dent your savings. However, before investing in any policy, insurance seekers must compare health insurance plans to find the perfect coverage.

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