What to Know About Vitamin K1

Some leafy greens include vitamin K1, a fat-soluble vitamin. Its main function is to support your blood clot.

One more essential vitamin is found further down the alphabet, following vitamins A through E: vitamin K. In addition to aiding in blood clotting, this vitamin may also support bone health and ward off arterial stiffening.

You've likely heard of vitamin K, but you might not be aware that it has two different forms: K1 and K2.

Certain lush green plants contain vitamin K1, while animal meals include vitamin K2. Even though they carry out a lot of the same bodily tasks, they differ slightly from one another.

Here are some facts on vitamin K1.

Why do you need vitamin K1?

Despite not having to be mentioned on nutrition facts labels, vitamin K1 is nonetheless vital to human health. Aiding in healthy blood clotting is its primary function. The word "Koagulation" in German is where the letter "K" originates.

Normal clotting in ordinary situations enables the formation of scabs that save you from bleeding too much. This also holds for more severe injuries. Bleeding could become fatal if it doesn't stop.

The effects of vitamin K1 on other aspects of well-being as bone health have not received much attention in the study. While some research has linked poor bone mineral density with high vitamin K intake, other studies suggest that high vitamin K intake may be protective.

Increased vitamin K intake has been linked in certain studies to improved bone mineral density and a decreased risk of hip fractures.

A further potential advantage of vitamin K1 is a decreased risk of heart disease. This vitamin aids in the synthesis of a class of proteins that inhibit arterial stiffening. Thus, a few studies on whether vitamin K1 pills could help prevent heart disease have been investigated by Reliable Source.

To make definite conclusions about the relationship between vitamin K and cardiovascular risk, more research is required.

How much vitamin K1 do you need?

A blood test is the sole method to determine whether you're getting enough vitamin K1. But most people can get enough by eating a diversified diet.

The National Institutes of Health states that the following constitutes a sufficient consumption of vitamin K:
  • Children birth to 6 months old: 2 micrograms (mcg)
  • Children 7–12 months old: 2.5 mcg
  • Children 9–13 years old: 60 mcg
  • Children 14–18 years old: 75 mcg
  • Children 1–3 years old: 30 mcg
  • Children 4–8 years old: 55 mcg
  • Adult males 19 and over: 120 mcg
  • Adult females 19 and over, including those pregnant and nursing: 90 mcg

What happens if you have too little vitamin K1?

Compared to adults, vitamin K1 insufficiency is more common in children, particularly in newborns. This is due to poor placental absorption of vitamin K and possible vitamin K deficiency in lactation. However, one can never have too little.

An insufficient amount of vitamin K can cause excessive bleeding, bruising easily, heavy menstruation, and/or blood in the stool.

Can you have too much vitamin K1?

Getting too much vitamin K1 is quite rare. Because of this, there is no acceptable upper limit on consumption specified in the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs).

Consuming a lot of leafy greens and other foods high in vitamin K1 increases your risk of experiencing gastrointestinal distress from too much fibre rather than any negative consequences from consuming too much vitamin K1.

On the other hand, excessive vitamin K1 use may be hazardous for those on certain drugs, such as blood thinners. If you use a blood thinner, be careful to talk to your doctor or nutritionist about your vitamin K1 consumption.

What are good food sources of vitamin K1?

Regarding vitamin K1, consider eating lots and lots of green vegetables. The best sources of this vitamin are leafy greens. Fresh greens typically contain less than cooked greens, though this isn't always the case. Since vitamin K1 is soluble in fat, consuming it with a fat source—like salad dressing—improves absorption.

Among the foods that contain the most vitamin K1 are:
  • cooked kale
  • cooked turnip greens
  • raw dandelion greens
  • raw Swiss chard
  • cooked collard greens
  • cooked spinach
  • raw arugula
  • Dried herbs including marjoram, thyme, oregano, and basil

Does vitamin K1 interact with other medications?

When taking blood thinners such as warfarin (also known as Coumadin), patients are usually advised not to take vitamin K1 and to stay away from foods that are high in vitamin K. In addition to these medications, vitamin K1 may also interact with antacids, certain antibiotics, and medications for cancer, seizures, and high cholesterol.

Who should not take vitamin K1?

Extra vitamin K1 can be detrimental to some people. Given that vitamin K promotes blood clotting, this is particularly true for those using blood thinners.

Individuals with intestinal issues, liver or gallbladder illness, and kidney disease on dialysis should also talk to their doctor about using vitamin K1.

Additionally, you might be told not to take vitamin K1 pills while pregnant because they can make an unborn child jaundiced.


What is vitamin K1 used for?

The main purposes of vitamin K1 are to improve blood clotting and stop excessive bleeding. On the other hand, a doctor might advise some people to take it as part of a heart health programme.

Do vitamins K1 and K2 do the same thing?

Despite having distinct dietary origins, vitamins K1 and K2 perform many of the same bodily tasks. However, compared to K1, K2 might be more effective at lowering the risk of heart disease. To be sure, more investigation is required.

What food is highest in vitamin K1?

Kale and other dark leafy greens are among the foods highest in vitamin K1. One cup of cooked kale, for instance, has 1,062 micrograms, which is more than ten times the daily allowance.

Who should not take vitamin K1?

You shouldn't take vitamin K1 if you take certain drugs, such as blood thinners (which include warfarin, often known as Coumadin). Vitamin K should also be avoided by those with uncommon metabolic disorders that impair blood coagulation, such as glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase insufficiency.


The majority of people may get enough vitamin K1 from a balanced, healthful diet. Make sure to include a lot of dark green leafy vegetables in your diet. You should also consult your doctor if you think your levels may be too low.

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