vitamin K


  • Aids in the formation of clotting factors and bone proteins; helps form osteocalcin, a calcium-binding protein necessary for mineralization of bone
  • Hot vitamin – has relationship with helping heart disease (and calcium being deposited in the heart) and also with regulating inflammation
Sources notes
  • Best source for K1 is leafy vegetables
  • Anti-inflammatory K2
    • is synthesized by bacteria and found in  fermented foods like cheeses and natto
    • also in organ meats (eg beef, pork and chicken liver)
Vegetable Sources Asparagus; Broccoli; Cucumber, Cabbage; Beet Greens; Dandelion Leaves; Green Peas; Green Beans, Lettuce, Potato, Spinach; Swiss Chard, Turnip greens; Tomato; Watercress;
Fruit Sources Avocado, Banana, peaches, raisins
Other sources Basil, Cilantro, Parsley, organ meats (eg beef, pork and chicken liver)
Absorption and function notes
  • Fat soluble – fat enhances absorption
  • Tetracycline can interfere with vitamin K activity
Deficiency factors
  • History of easy bruising or recurrent menorrhagia
  • GI Integrity – 50% of vitamin K is made by the bacteria in the gut (Colonic microflora integrity necessary)
  • Deficiency is uncommon
  • Excess vitamin A and E may antagonize Vitamin K
  • Promotes clotting and antagonizes the activity of anticoagulants such as Coumadin
  • Toxicity is not problematic except with vitamin K3 (menadione) a synthetic form which can cause oxidation of cell membrane phospholipids

Adapted from:

Murray, M. (2005). Encyclopedia of Healing Food. New York, N.Y.: Atria Books

Bland, J., Costarella, L., Levin, B., Liska, D., Lukaczer, D., Schlitz, B., Schmidt, M., Lerman, R., Quinn, S., Jones, D. (2004). Clinical Nutrition: A Functional Approach, Second Edition. Gig Harbor, WA: The Institute for Functional Medicine

Additional resources

Vitamin K2: Everything You Need to Know from Healthline

​Vitamin K1 vs K2: What’s the Difference? from Healthline

Vitamin K Fact Sheet for Health Professionals from the National Institute of Health

Vitamin K report from Livescience

Mayo Clinic: Side Effects of Vitamin K

Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin K Summary

Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy: Vitamin K



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