Vitamin K is another fat-soluble vitamin, the principal function of which is anti-hemorrhagic, that is to say to control blood clotting. When naturally available in foods it is known as phytomenadione, phyloquinone and K1; when it is manufactured by intestinal bacteria it is known as K2; and when produced synthetically as menadione and K3.

Found in both animal and plant foods. In fats, fishmeal, beef and pig liver, meat; also in cauliflower, brussels sprouts, broccoli, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, oats, wheat, rye, alfalfa, tomatoes, string beans, potatoes, legumes, etc.


  • Inability to absorb fats
  • Long-term antibiotic treatment
  • Newborn hemorrhagic disease
  • Toxic effects of anti-coagulant drugs


A deficiency of vitamin K may cause excessive bleeding, but usually only in the newborn.

No symptoms of excess intake have been reported. Persons on anti-coagulant drugs must examine periodically the vitamin K in the blood, or when a major change in diet takes place. A number of conditions may cause a deficiency of vitamin K, and these include,


  • Low levels of vitamin in mother's milk
  • Poor vitamin transfer across placenta during pregnancy

  • Antibiotic therapy
  • Celiac disease
  • Fat malabsorption
  • Intestinal surgery
  • Lack of bile salts
  • Liver disease