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Vitamin K has many health benefits, including assisting the creation of various proteins that are needed for blood clotting and even the building of bones. Your body stores this vitamin in the liver, heart, brain, pancreas, and bone. The process of how it is broken down and absorbed is actually quick, and the excess goes out of your system through urine or stool. Due to this, it is highly unlikely that vitamin K can reach toxic levels inside your body. 

What is vitamin K?

Vitamin K is a collective name for a group of fat-soluble vitamins that are essential for bodily functions, such as blood clotting, regulation of blood calcium levels, and bone metabolism. Your body literally depends on vitamin K for producing prothrombin — a protein that is responsible for blood clotting and bone metabolism. It is not a good idea for people who take blood-thinning medications to consume additional vitamin K without first consulting with a health care specialist.

The deficiency of this vitamin is actually rare, however, people that suffer a severe deficiency of vitamin K can experience hemorrhage and excessive bleeding.

As mentioned above, vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that comes in two forms. The main type is called phylloquinone, and it is found in green leafy vegetables. The second type is menaquinones, which are found in some animal and fermented foods. However, our body can produce menaquinones with the help of bacteria.

What are the Health Benefits of vitamin K?

Blood Clotting and Coagulation

Vitamin K’s most widely recognized role is in the blood clotting cascade. It acts as a cofactor for specific proteins, such as prothrombin and clotting factors, which are essential for the synthesis of blood clotting components. In pharmaceutical contexts, understanding vitamin K’s role in coagulation is crucial for interventions related to bleeding disorders and anticoagulant therapies.

Vitamin K Health Benefits for Bone Health and Mineralization

Vitamin K plays a crucial role in bone metabolism and mineralization. It contributes to the synthesis of osteocalcin, a protein involved in bone mineralization. In pharmaceutical considerations, recognizing vitamin K’s significance in bone health is essential for formulations targeting osteoporosis and bone-related disorders.

Cardiovascular Health

Emerging research suggests a link between vitamin K and cardiovascular health. Vitamin K is involved in the regulation of vascular calcification, a process associated with atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases. In pharmaceutical sciences, understanding the potential impact of vitamin K on cardiovascular outcomes is becoming increasingly important for preventive and therapeutic strategies.

Cellular Processes and Gene Expression

Beyond its classical roles, vitamin K is involved in various cellular processes and gene expression. It influences cell proliferation, apoptosis, and inflammation. In pharmaceutical research, uncovering the molecular mechanisms through which vitamin K exerts its cellular effects may lead to novel therapeutic approaches in conditions involving abnormal cell growth or inflammation.

Vitamin K Health Benefits — Antioxidant Properties

Recent studies have indicated that vitamin K possesses antioxidant properties, contributing to cellular protection against oxidative stress. This aspect of vitamin K’s functionality is gaining attention in pharmaceutical research, especially in formulations targeting conditions associated with oxidative damage.

Neonatal Health

Vitamin K is routinely administered to newborns to prevent vitamin K deficiency bleeding, a rare but serious condition that can occur in infants. Pharmaceutical professionals play a crucial role in ensuring the appropriate administration of vitamin K to newborns, highlighting its importance in neonatal health.

Sources of Vitamin K

  1. Vitamin K1 (Phylloquinone) can be found in high amounts in leafy green vegetables, such as kale and spinach. It is also found in vegetable oils and some fruits like blueberries and figs.
  2. Sources of Vitamin K2, or menanoquines, include meat, eggs, and dairy products.

Daily Recommended Dosage of Vitamin K

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin K can vary depending on factors such as age, sex, and life stage. As of a last update in January 2022, here are the general RDAs for vitamin K:

1. Infants:

– 0-6 months: 2.0 micrograms (mcg) per day
– 7-12 months: 2.5 mcg per day

2. Children:

– 1-3 years: 30 mcg per day
– 4-8 years: 55 mcg per day
– 9-13 years: 60 mcg per day

3. Adolescents and Adults:

– Males 14-18 years: 75 mcg per day
– Females 14-18 years: 75 mcg per day
– Males 19 years and older: 120 mcg per day
– Females 19 years and older: 90 mcg per day

It’s important to note that these recommendations are for total vitamin K intake from all dietary sources, including both vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and vitamin K2 (menaquinones). 


As of now, there hasn’t been established an upper limit for the intake of vitamin K. However, overdosing with this nutrient is rare and highly unlikely to result from eating foods that contain it. Even so, before taking any type of supplement, you have to consult your doctor first!

Individuals with specific health conditions, such as those on anticoagulant medications like warfarin, may need to monitor their vitamin K intake more closely, as vitamin K can interact with these medications. In such cases, healthcare professionals may provide personalized recommendations.

As with any nutrient, it’s advisable to obtain vitamins through a balanced diet rather than supplements, unless directed otherwise by a healthcare provider. If you have specific health concerns or conditions that may affect your vitamin K needs, it’s recommended to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

Vitamin K Interactions

Vitamin K is capable of interacting with several common medications, including blood thinners, antibiotics, anticonvulsants, cholesterol-lowering medicine, and even some weight-loss supplements.


Vitamin K stands as a multifaceted micronutrient with a broad spectrum of health benefits. From its classical role in blood clotting to its contributions to bone health, cardiovascular function, cellular processes, antioxidant properties, and neonatal health, vitamin K’s therapeutic canvas is expansive. 


As a service to our readers, MVS Pharma GmbH publishing provides access to our library of archived content — in our blog. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

Dr. Disha Trivedi

Dr. Disha Trivedi is PhD in Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology. She is working as a medical writer and researcher at MVS Pharma GmbH.