Vitamin A (or Vitamin A Retinol, retinal, and four carotenoids including beta carotene) is a vitamin that is needed by the retina of the eye in the form of a specific metabolite, the light-absorbing molecule retinal, that is necessary for both low-light (scotopic vision) and color vision. Vitamin A also functions in a very different role, as an irreversibly oxidized form of retinol known as retinoic acid, which is an important hormone-like growth factor for epithelial and other cells.
Vitamin A and carotene can be obtained from either animal or vegetable sources. The animal form is divided between retinol and dehydroretinol whereas the vegetable carotene can be split into four very potent groups – alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, gamma-carotene and crypto-carotene. With enough beta-carotene available in the body, the body can manufacture its own vitamin A.
Common symptoms of Vitamin A deficiency
Vitamin A deficiency can occur as either a primary or a secondary deficiency. A primary vitamin A deficiency occurs among children and adults who do not consume an adequate intake of provitamin, a carotenoids from fruits and vegetables or preformed vitamin A from animal and dairy products. Early weaning from breast milk can also increase the risk of vitamin A deficiency.
Secondary vitamin A deficiency is associated with chronic malabsorption of lipids, impaired bile production and release, and chronic exposure to oxidants, such as cigarette smoke, and chronic alcoholism. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin and depends on micellar solubilization for dispersion into the small intestine, which results in poor use of vitamin A from low-fat diets. Zinc deficiency can also impair absorption, transport, and metabolism of vitamin A because it is essential for the synthesis of the vitamin A transport proteins and as the cofactor in conversion of retinol to retinal. In malnourished populations, common low intakes of vitamin A and zinc increase the severity of vitamin A deficiency and lead physiological signs and symptoms of deficiency.
Lead to eye problems with dryness of the conjunctiva and cornea, night blindness; Dry itchy eyes that tire easily are normally a warning of too little vitamin A. If the deficiency becomes severe, the cornea can ulcerate and permanent blindness can follow.
Increased susceptibility to infections; Abscesses forming in the ear, sinusitis, frequent cold and respiratory infections
Rough, dry, scaly skin; skin disorders, such as acne, boils and a bumpy skin, hair and scalp can also become dry with a deficiency, especially if protein is also lacking.
Loss of smell & appetite;
Frequents fatigue; Insomnia and reproductive difficulties, weight loss
Lack of tearing;
Defective teeth & gums’ retarded growth.
More of this vitamin is required when you consume alcohol, on a low-fat diet, or a diet high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, if you smoke or live in a polluted area.
It may also be indicated if you suffer from diabetes or have an under-active thyroid gland.
Vitamin A metabolic inhibition as a result of alcohol consumption during pregnancy is the elucidated mechanism for foetal alcohol syndrome and is characterized by teratogenicity closely matching maternal vitamin A deficiency.
Chronic intake of 1500 RAE of preformed vitamin A may be associated with osteoporosis and hip fractures. This may be due to the fact that an excess of vitamin A can block the expression of certain proteins dependent on vitamin K to reduce the efficacy of vitamin D.
Smokers and chronic alcohol consumers have been observed to have increased risk of mortality due to lung cancer, esophageal cancer, gastrointestinal cancer and colon cancer. Hepatic (liver) injury been found in human and animal studies where consumption of alcohol is paired with high dose vitamin A and beta-carotene supplementation.
Common symptoms of Vitamin A Toxicity
If you eat polar bear liver be careful, he will deliver about 9,000,000 IU to your diet – a very lethal dose.
Headaches, blurred vision, loss of hair, drowsiness and diarrhea, enlargement of the spleen and liver can all be indications when your intake is too high.
Excess vitamin A, which is most common with high dose vitamin supplements, Excessive vitamin A consumption can lead to nausea, irritability, anorexia (reduced appetite), vomiting, blurry vision, headaches, hair loss, muscle and abdominal pain and weakness, drowsiness, and altered mental status. In chronic cases, hair loss, dry skin, drying of the mucous membranes, fever, insomnia, fatigue, weight loss, bone fractures, anemia, and diarrhea can all be evident on top of the symptoms associated with less serious toxicity. Some of these symptoms are also common to acne treatment with Isotretinoin. Chronically high doses of vitamin A, and also pharmaceutical retinoids such as 13-cis retinoic acid, can produce the syndrome of pseudotumor cerebri. This syndrome includes headache, blurring of vision and confusion, associated with increased intracerebral pressure. Symptoms begin to resolve when intake of the offending substance is stopped. Can cause birth defects and therefore should not exceed recommended daily values.
Vitamin A (Beta Carotene) is non-toxic.
Dosages exceeding 15,000 IU per day must be taken under medical supervision. Toxicity can appear in some individuals at relatively low dosages and the symptoms may include nausea, dizziness, menstrual problems, skin changes and dryness, itchiness, irritability, vomiting, headaches and long term use can cause hair loss, bone and muscle pain, headache, liver damage, and an increase in blood lipid concentrations.
Excess vitamin A, which is most common with high dose vitamin supplements, can cause birth defects and therefore should not exceed recommended daily values.
Acute toxicity occurs at doses of 25,000 IU/kg of body weight, with chronic toxicity occurring at 4,000 IU/kg of body weight daily for 6–15 months. However, liver toxicities can occur at levels as low as 15,000 IU per day to 1.4 million IU per day, with an average daily toxic dose of 120,000 IU per day, particularly with excessive consumption of alcohol. In people with renal failure, 4000 IU can cause substantial damage. In addition, excessive alcohol intake can increase toxicity. Children can reach toxic levels at 1,500 IU/kg of body weight.
Benefit from Vitamin A
Vitamin A assists the immune system, its antioxidant properties are great to protect against pollution and cancer formation and other diseases.
Vitamin A is required for night vision, Counteracts night-blindness & weak eyesight
Skin and cellular health. It required for development and maintenance of the epithelial cells, growth & repair of body tissues; helps maintain smooth, soft disease-free skin; helps protect the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, throat & lungs,
Protects against air pollutants, reducing susceptibility to infections.
Assists your sense of taste as well as helping the digestive and urinary tract
Bone metabolism: bone and teeth formation. Gene transcription, the synthesis of protein and glycogen in your body, Immune function, Antioxidant activity, embryonic development and reproduction, Haematopoiesis (is the formation of blood cellular components. All cellular blood components are derived from haematopoietic stem cells.)
Current medical research shows that foods rich in Beta Carotene will help reduce the risk of lung cancer & certain oral cancers.
Adequate supply, but not excess vitamin A, is especially important for pregnant and breastfeeding women for normal fetal development. Deficiencies cannot be compensated by postnatal supplementation
Helps slow aging
How Much Vitamin A
Male 5,000 IU per day (1,000 µg equivalent), female 4,000 IU per day (800 µg retinol equivalent), although 10,000 IU per day is normally used in supplementation.
Food rich in Vitamin A
Retinol is destroyed by light, high temperatures as well as when using copper or iron cooking utensils. Beta-carotene rich vegetables and fruit must not be soaked in water for long periods, since the nutrients can be lost like that.
There seems to be no toxicity when ingesting large amounts of beta-carotene, you might however have a slightly orange colored skin, as the carotene gets stored in your skin.
liver (beef, pork, chicken, turkey, fish) cod liver oil, dandelion greens , carrot,broccoli , sweet potato
butter, kale, spinach, pumpkin, collard greens, Cheddar cheese, cantaloupe, melon, egg, apricot, papaya,mango,pea, milk, dark green leafy vegetables and yellow fruits are high in vitamin A or beta-carotene.
Take vitamin A with B group vitamins, vitamins C, D and E, choline, essential fatty acids together with calcium, phosphorus and zinc for the best results.
Pro-vitamin A – beta-carotene does not cause toxicity.
The two major forms of vitamin D exist are vitamin D2 or ergocalciferol, and vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol, vitamin D without a subscript refers to either D2 or D3 or both.
Vitamin D is also referred to as calciferol and can rightly be called the sunshine vitamin, since the body, in a sunny climate can manufacture this nutrient from sunshine on your skin using cholesterol from your body to do so. Vitamin D is also classified as a hormone
Vitamin D is important in helping the body absorb and use calcium from food and supplements.
Common symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency
Deficiency can lead to softening of the bone (low bone mineral density) and muscle twitching and convulsions, and in children it causes rickets – resulting in bent legs. In adults, the shortage causes loss of minerals from the bones, (osteomalacia) where the bones are sore, tender, and weak muscles with the possibility of deafness developing. In older people, osteoporosis may appear when protein is also lost from the bone. Vitamin D in short supply is also linked to having a burning sensation in the mouth and throat, diarrhea, insomnia and visual problems.
For elderly, the study was undertaken after statistics showed that the risk of hip fracture after stroke is two to four times that of a similar population who had not had a stroke; conclude that the combination of immobility and advanced age may cause vitamin D deficiency, which in turn leads to reduced bone mineral density and greater fracture risk. deficiency leads to softening of the bones due to lack of minerals, most notably calcium. Hip fractures are associated with more deaths, disability, and medical costs than all other osteoporosis-related fractures combined.
Osteomalacia, a bone-thinning disorder that occurs exclusively in adults and is characterized by proximal muscle weakness and bone fragility. The effects of osteomalacia are thought to contribute to chronic musculoskeletal pain
When you are very seldom exposed to sunlight, or if you always wear sunscreens with a SPF factor higher than 8, may also be associated with healthy hair follicle growth cycles.
May also associations between low 25(OH)D levels and peripheral vascular disease, certain cancers, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile diabetes,Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Too little vitamin D in the diet can lead to weakened bones and an increased risk of fractures.
a strict vegan diet and older people
People with compromised kidneys or liver can have a deficency because the kidneys and liver are required to activate this vitamin in processes taking place in those organs.
May lead to rickets, tooth decay, softening of bones, improper healing of fractures, lack of vigor, muscular weakness, inadequate absorption of calcium, retention of phosphorous in the kidneys.
Low blood levels of vitamin D are associated with increased mortality;
excess or deficiency in the calciferol system appear to cause abnormal functioning and premature aging.
Lack of vitamin D synthesis during the winter is a possible explanation for high rates of influenza infection during winter;
hypothesized to influence rates of infection during winter.
Low blood calcidiol
Research shows that dark-skinned people living in temperate climates have lower vitamin D levels.It has been suggested that dark-skinned people are less efficient at making vitamin D because melanin in the skin hinders vitamin D synthesis, h.1owever a recent study has found novel evidence that low vitamin D levels among Africans may be due to other reasons. Recent evidence implicates parathyroid hormone in adverse cardiovascular outcomes, black women have an increase in serum PTH at a lower 25(OH)D level than white women.A large scale association study of the genetic determinants of vitamin D insufficiency in Caucasians found no links to pigmentation.
Common symptoms of Vitamin D Toxicity
Guidelines for toxicity are sometimes set as 5,000 to 10,000 IU per day to cause toxicity, but other researchers place the value much higher, more than 1250 micrograms/day (50,000 IU) can produce overt toxicity after several months. You are however advised to keep your supplement intake to no more than 600 IU per day. Having too much vitamin D in your system could leave a too elevated calcium level, a lower appetite, increased thirst, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, abdominal pain. A long-term effect of too much vitamin D is the deposit of calcium in soft tissues of the body including the blood vessel walls and kidneys where it can cause serious damage.
Overconsuming vitamin D can cause nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, weakness and weight loss. Calcinosis, the deposition of calcium and phosphate in soft tissues like the kidney, can be caused by vitamin D toxicity.
Antacids, some cholesterol lowering drugs, mineral oil, some anti-seizure medications, and steroids interfere with the absorption of vitamin D.
Vitamin D fortification has been suggested to have caused a pandemic of allergic disease and an association between vitamin D supplementation in infancy and an increased risk of atopy and allergic rhinitis later in life has been found
Certain medical conditions such as primary are far more sensitive to vitamin D and develop hypercalcemia in response to any increase in vitamin D nutrition, while maternal hypercalcemia during pregnancy may increase fetal sensitivity to effects of vitamin D and lead to a syndrome of mental retardation and facial deformities.
Pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult a doctor before taking a vitamin D supplement.
Infants (birth to 12 months), the tolerable upper limit (maximum amount that can be tolerated without harm) is set at 25 micrograms/day (1000 IU). One thousand micrograms (40,000 IU) per day in infants has produced toxicity within one month. After being commissioned by the Canadian and American governments, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) as of 30 November 2010, has increased the tolerable upper limit (UL) to 2500 IU per day for ages 1–3 years, 3000 IU per day for ages 4–8 years and 4000 IU per day for ages 9–71+ years (including pregnant or lactating women).
Vitamin D overdose causes hypercalcemia, and the main symptoms are:anorexia, nausea, and vomiting can occur, frequently followed by polyuria, polydipsia, weakness, nervousness, pruritus, and, ultimately, renal failure. Proteinuria, urinary casts, azotemia, and metastatic calcification (especially in the kidneys) may develop.
Vitamin D toxicity is treated by discontinuing vitamin D supplementation and restricting calcium intake. Kidney damage may be irreversible.
Exposure to sunlight for extended periods of time does not normally cause vitamin D toxicity
Low vitamin D levels are associated with some cancers. When supplementation is used to treat people with prostate cancer,
Benefit from Vitamin D
increases expression of the tyrosine hydroxylase gene in adrenal medullary cells. It also is involved in the biosynthesis of neurotrophic factors, synthesis of nitric oxide synthase, and increased glutathione levels
Involved in cell proliferation and differentiation. Vitamin D also affects the immune system, and VDRs are expressed in several white blood cells, including monocytes and activated T and B cells
Increases expression of the tyrosine hydroxylase gene in adrenal medullary cells. It also is involved in the biosynthesis of neurotrophic factors, synthesis of nitric oxide synthase, and increased glutathione levels.
maintain skeletal calcium balance by promoting calcium absorption in the intestines, promoting bone resorption by increasing osteoclast number,
Maintaining calcium and phosphate levels for bone formation, and allowing proper functioning of parathyroid hormone to maintain serum calcium levels. Vitamin D deficiency can result in lower bone mineral density and an increased risk of bone loss (osteoporosis) or bone fracture because a lack of vitamin D alters mineral metabolism in the body
Role as a natural inhibitor of signal transduction by hedgehog (a hormone involved in morphogenesis)
Assists in bone growth and the integrity of bone and promotes strong teeth and tooth formation. maintains a stable nervous system and normal heart action. helps to prevent osteoporosis.
Helps regulate the amount of phosphorus in the body as well as assisting in a healthy heart and nervous system. In some recent studies it has also shown great promise in assisting psoriasis, the immune system, thyroid function as well as normal blood clotting.
Multiple sclerosis posited that this is due to the immune-response suppression properties of Vitamin D during pregnancy can lessen the likelihood of the child developing multiple sclerosis later in life
Prevents rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults, older adults from osteoporosis.
Affects neuromuscular function, inflammation, and influences the action of many genes that regulate the proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis of cells
Children aged six months to five years should be given vitamin D supplements—particularly during the winter. However, people who get enough vitamin D from their diet and from sunlight are not recommended for vitamin D supplements
Contribute generally to the maintenance of adequate serum concentrations.
Reduce cardiovascular disease risk.
Food rich in Vitamin D
If you want to get the most vitamins possible from your food, refrigerate fresh produce, and keep milk and grains away from strong light. Vitamins are easily destroyed and washed out during food preparation and storage.
Fatty fish like kipper, sardines, Catfish, salmon, tuna and mackerel, Eel, Fish liver oils, such as cod liver oil, liver, egg yolk and butter.
Smaller amounts are also present in dark leafy vegetables. Fortified milk,
Fortified cereals,Sun exposure
Mushrooms and yeast are the only known vegan significant sources of vitamin D from food sources.
If you take vitamin supplements, store them at room temperature in a dry place that’s free of moisture
How Much Vitamin D
The National Institutes of Health recommend that men and women ages 19 to 50 consume a minimum of 200 IU (or 5 mcg) of vitamin D each day.
People ages 51 and over should consume at least 400 IU (or 10 mcg) of vitamin D daily. The need for vitamin D increases with age because your body’s ability to convert sunlight to vitamin D decreases.
You should always eat foods or supplements rich in vitamin D with foods rich in calcium for better absorption. When you are exposed to the sun’s rays, your body converts a cholesterol compound in the skin to vitamin D, so aim for three 15-minute sessions of sun exposure a week.
Full body exposure to sunlight is approximately 250 and 625 micrograms (10 000 and 25 000 ) vitamin D
1–70 years of age: 600 IU/day (15 μg equivalent)
71+ years of age: 800 IU/day
Pregnant/lactating: 600 IU/day
The reference AI for infants remains at:
0–12 months: 400 IU/day
Vitamin D helps with increasing the absorption of calcium,
Check to have vitamin A around this vitamin as well as calcium and phosphorus.
Major anti-oxidant nutrient; Vitamin E is an essential fat-soluble vitamin that includes eight naturally occurring compounds in two classes designated as tocopherols and tocotrienols. There are many different forms of vitamin E, of which γ-tocopherol is the most common in the North American diet.
Vitamin E is an effective chain-breaking, lipid-soluble antioxidant in biological membranes, and aids in membrane stability. Vitamin E is the most effective chain-breaking lipid-soluble antioxidant in the biological membrane, where it contributes to membrane stability.
There are several types of Vitamin E available. D-Alpha Tocopherol (100% Natural) is 4 times more potent in biological activity than d1-Alpha Tocopherol (Synthetic) Vitamin E. For example; 100 I.U. of d-Alpha (100% Natural) Vitamin E is equal to 400 I.U. d1-Alpha Tocopherol (Synthetic) Vitamin E in biological activity. Natural Vitamin E is derived from soybeans and synthetic Vitamin E is a petroleum by-product.
It is a fat-soluble antioxidant that stops the production of reactive oxygen species formed when fat undergoes oxidation.
When buying a supplement you often see “d-alpha-tocopherol” on the list of ingredients – that means that the Vitamin E is from natural sources, whereas “dl-alpha-tocopherol” will indicate that it is from synthetic origin. As such the origin of the vitamin does not influence the efficiency thereof.
Vitamin E can be used in lotions or creams to protect the skin or to treat for burns. It is also helpful to treat burns secondary to radiation therapy.
Good results in-patients with dermatitis resulting from poor blood circulation, prescribed for topical use in pregnant women to prevent stretch marks on the abdomen.
Common symptoms of Vitamin E deficiency
may include fatigue, inflamed varicose veins, wounds healing slowly, premature aging and sub-fertility. When Vitamin E is in short supply symptoms may include acne, anemia, muscle disease, dementia, cancers, gallstones, shortened red blood cell life span, spontaneous abortion (miscarriage), and uterine degeneration.
Diet is high in refined carbohydrates, fried foods and fat, or you are taking a birth control pill or hormone replacement therapy, then a supplement of Vitamin E might be called for. People suffering from pre-menstrual cramps, menopausal hot flushes, after a stroke or suffering from a heart disease might benefit from Vitamin E.
Be beneficial to relieve painful or swollen joints, if you are exposed to pollution (that is about all of us), suffer from poor circulation or from Dupuytren’s disease, which is a thickening of the ligaments in the hands.
May lead to a rupture of red blood cells, loss of reproductive powers, lack of sexual vitality, abnormal fat deposits in muscles, degenerative changes in the changes in the heart and other muscles; dry skin.
Reproductive failure, nutritional “muscular dystrophy”, hemolytic anemia, and neurological and immunological abnormalities.
Premature infants with very low birth weight and patients who fail to absorb fat.
Responsible for the repair of the wounds and regeneration of the extracellular tissue that is lost or damaged during atherosclerosis.
Has a regulatory effect on enzymatic activities.
Has an effect on gene expression.
Impairment of the immune response.
Common symptoms of Vitamin E Toxicity
Toxicity is not easily reached; has no effect on mortality, even at large doses
High intakes may induce diarrhea, nausea or abdominal wind. People on anticoagulant medication should not take more than 1,200 IU per day
Vitamin E is relatively safe compared to the fat-soluble vitamins.
High vitamin E supplementation may be contraindicated when a coagulation defect is present due to vitamin K deficiency or in individuals receiving anticoagulant drugs.
Too much can cause nausea and digestive tract problems.
Prevent degenerative diseases – including heart disease, strokes, arthritis, senility, diabetes and cancer. assists in fighting heart disease and cancers and is essential for red blood cells, helps with cellular respiration and protects the body from pollution – especially the lungs.
Vitamin E may help to decrease the toxicity of certain chemotherapy drugs. Adriamycin is an important anti-cancer drug with potential major toxicity to the heart. The use of 1000 to 2,000 units of vitamin E per day may help to decrease this toxicity.
Used to prevent or treat mucositis resulting from chemotherapy.
Benefit from Vitamin E
Spicing up your sex life to banning wrinkles and old age. One of the most important functions of this vitamin is its antioxidant properties.
It is a powerful antioxidant, protects your cells from oxidation, and neutralizes unstable free radicals, which can cause damage. making it more stable
Protects the other antioxidants from being oxidized.
Prevent degenerative diseases – including heart disease, strokes, arthritis, senility, diabetes and cancer. assists in fighting heart disease and cancers and is essential for red blood cells, helps with cellular respiration and protects the body from pollution – especially the lungs.
Preventing blood clots from forming and promotes fertility, reduces and/or prevents hot flushes in menopause. An increase in stamina and endurance is also attributed to Vitamin E.
Vitamin E is also used topically to great effect for skin treatments – in helping the skin look younger, promoting healing and cutting down the risk of scar tissue forming. Used on the skin it is also reported to help with eczema, skin ulcers cold sores and shingles.
Retards cellular aging due to oxidation; supps oxygen to the blood which is then carried to the heart and other organs; thus alleviating fatigue; aids in bringing nourishment to cells; strengthens the capillary walls & prevents the red blood cells from destructive poisons; prevents & dissolves blood clots;
Has also been used by doctors in helping prevent sterility, muscular dystrophy, calcium deposits in blood walls and heart conditions.
It acts as a free radical scavenger to prevent the byproducts of chemical-cell interaction to cause cell damage. Free radicals are likely responsible for all or most of the degenerative diseases e.g. arthritis, heart disease, cancer, senility etc.
Protect our cells from this type of injury. Other free radical scavengers include zinc, vitamin C, and selenium. Studies have reported vitamin E to protect against some of the toxicities of ionizing radiation.
May decrease some of the harmful effects of solar radiation on the skin.
Have stabilizing effect on the vascular system and is useful in decreasing menopausal and premenstrual symptoms, certain types of breast disease.
It is useful in decreasing leg cramps occurring especially at night.
Has been shown to influence signal transduction pathways.
Vitamin E supplementation significantly improved immune response in healthy elderly. High serum vitamin E levels have been associated with reduced risk for coronary heart disease in men and women.
How Much Vitamin E
0 to 6 months: 4 mg/day 7 to 12 months: 5 mg/day
Children 1 to 3 years: 6 mg/day 4 to 8 years: 7 mg/day 9 to 13 years: 11 mg/day
Adolescents and Adults 14 and older: 15 mg/day
One IU of Vitamin E is 0.67 mg of RRR-alpha-tocopherol, or 0.45 mg of all rac-alpha-tocopherol the requirement for vitamin E increases with higher intakes of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA).
Food rich in Vitamin E
Vitamin E is lost in food processing which includes milling, cooking, freezing, long storage periods and when exposed to air.
Vitamin E is found in nuts, oils, soybean, safflower, and corn, vegetables, sunflower seeds, whole grains, spinach, oils, seeds, wheat oils, asparagus, avocado, beef, seafood, apples, carrots, celery, Leafy vegetables (like lettuce, spinach, turnip, beet, collard, and dandelion greens), Tomato products, Pumpkin , Sweet potato, Rockfish, Mangoes, Broccoli, Papayas, Liver, Peanut butter, margarine and dressings.
Wheat germ are the main sources of the tocopherols.
Animal products and most fruits and vegetables are generally poor sources.
Take Vitamin E with the range of antioxidants – that being vitamin C, beta-carotene and selenium. Vitamin B group vitamins as well as inositol and manganese is also indicated.
works well in conjunction with beta-carotene.
Vitamin E should not be taken together with inorganic iron supplements as it may destroy the vitamin, while organic iron, such as ferrous gluconate and ferrous fumarate does not affect the vitamin.
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, It exists in three forms; K1 (plant sources), K2 (synthesized by intestinal bacteria), and K3 (provitamin form). Vitamin K (phylloquinone) can be produced in the intestines and this function is improved with the presence of cultured milk, like yogurt, in the diet, Vitamin K is classified as a fat-soluble vitamin. The function of vitamin K in the cell is to convert glutamate in proteins to gamma-carboxyglutamate
Common symptoms of Vitamin K deficiency
Dietary deficiency is extremely rare unless the intestine (small bowel) was heavily damaged, resulting in malabsorption of the molecule. The other at-risk group for deficiency were those subject to decreased production of K2 by normal flora, as seen in broad spectrum antibiotic use or taking antibiotics.
Gallbladder or biliary disease, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease.
Consuming excessive amounts of mineral oil, liver disease, using blood-thinning.
Ongoing or significant diarrhea,
Long term use of nutrition provided
Ongoing hemodialysis, and serious burns
Results in impaired blood clotting.
Coronary heart disease
Excessive bleeding (hemorrhage) which starts from the gums or nose, echymoses (bleeding below the skin) and excessive bruising, disorders such as coagulopathy.
Also experience symptoms of blood in the urine, blood in the stool, tarry black stools, or extremely heavy menstrual bleeding.
Suffer from liver damage or disease (e.g. alcoholics), people with cystic fibrosis, inflammatory bowel diseases or those who have recently had abdominal surgeries.
In newborn infants results in hemorrhagic disease, as well as postoperative bleeding and hematuria while muscle hematomas and inter-cranial hemorrhages
Newborn infants are at an increased risk of deficiency Bleeding in infants due to vitamin K deficiency can be severe, leading to hospitalizations, blood transfusions, brain damage and death.
Supplementation with vitamin K can prevent most cases of vitamin K deficiency bleeding in the newborn. Intramuscular administration of vitamin K is more effective in preventing late vitamin K deficiency bleeding than oral administration.
In nosebleeds, internal hemorrhaging.
Include bulimics, those on stringent diets.
May occur in people with conditions such as cystic fibrosis and celiac disease whose bodies cannot absorb vitamins from foods properly.
The elderly there is a reduction in vitamin K2 production.
Drugs that have been associated with vitamin K deficiency include salicylates, barbiturates, and cefamandole.
Long term aspirin use.
Note: A variety of medical conditions can lead to the symptoms mentioned above. Therefore, it is important to have a physician evaluate them so that appropriate medical care can be given.
Common symptoms of Vitamin K Toxicity
There is no known toxicity associated with taking vitamin K1 and vitamin K2, only K3.
Allergic reaction from supplementation is possible.
Taking high doses of Vitamin K3 (provitamin form) is toxic. It can interfere with the function of glutathione, one of the body’s natural antioxidants, resulting in oxidative damage to cell membranes.
Can happen if synthetic compound vitamin K 3 is taken. High to toxic uptake in the synthetic form can cause flushing and sweating. Jaundice and anemia
Plays a role in bone growth and the maintenance of bone density
Blood clotting (coagulation) in humans using 45 mg per day of vitamin K2
If you are taking anti-coagulant (to prevent blood clotting) medication, consult your medical practitioner before taking a Vitamin K supplement.
When you are prone to bruising easily, or when pregnant you might be in need of more Vitamin K. But be careful not to take too much Vitamin K in the last stages of pregnancy, since it could be toxic for the baby.
You should not take doses of more than 500 micrograms without talking to your doctor.
Vitamin K3 (menadione), is demonstrably toxic. the FDA has banned this synthetic form of the vitamin from over-the-counter supplements because large doses have been shown to cause allergic reactions, hemolytic anemia, and cytotoxicity in liver cells.
Eating natural foods that are high in vitamin K is the safest and healthiest way to get an adequate supply of the nutrient. Due to risk of toxicity, individuals should always consult with a knowledgeable health care provider before starting doses of supplements. Before giving supplements to children, it is recommended that you first consult with their pediatrician Vitamin K may interfere with the effectiveness of medications such as anticoagulants (also known as blood thinners) it is recommended that you consult with your physician before taking any supplements. All supplements should be kept in childproof bottles and out of children’s reach.
leuprolide treatment (for prostate cancer) This two year study which involved 21 women with viral liver cirrhosis found that women in the supplement group were 90% less likely to develop liver cancer. A German study performed on men with prostate cancer found a significant inverse relationship between vitamin K2 consumption and advanced prostate cancer.
Benefit from Vitamin K
Prevent conditions such as osteoporosis and coronary heart disease. Helping blood clot properly after an injury. Essential for the functioning of several proteins that are involved in blood clotting. essential for synthesizing the liver protein that controls the clotting. that Vitamin K plays an important role in bone health. a very important factor in blood clotting. It is also involved in bone formation and repair. Plays an important role in bone health. Plays an important role in kidney function Used in the body to control blood clotting Promotes longevity. It is involved in creating the important prothrombin, which is the precursor to thrombin – In the intestines it assists in converting glucose to glycogen, this can then be stored in the liver There are some indications that Vitamin K may decrease the incidence or severity of osteoporosis and slow bone loss. Has also been shown to prevent bone loss and/or fractures in the following circumstances: Caused by corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone, dexamethasone, prednisolone), Anorexia nervosa, cirrhosis of the liver, Postmenopausal osteoporosis, Disuse from stroke Alzheimer’s disease Parkinson disease, Primary biliary cirrhosis Vitamin K is a true antidote for poisoning by 4-hydroxycoumarin anticoagulant drugs (sometimes loosely referred to as coumarins). These include the pharmaceutical warfarin, and also anticoagulant-mechanism poisons such as bromadiolone, which are commonly found in rodenticides, If caught early, prognosis is good, even when great amounts of the drug or poison are ingest
How Much Vitamin K
Males 80 micrograms per day and females 70 micrograms per day. Food rich in Vitamin K
Green leafy vegetables (swiss chard, kale, spinach, and lettuce), celery, asparagus, parsley, Brassica (e.g. cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, and brussels sprouts); olive oil, and canola oil. Kale, Watercress, kiwifruit, grapes,Soybean oil, Mayonnaise, cheese, liver. coffee, bacon, meat, eggs, dairy products.and green tea.
Bioavailability of vitamin K in green plants. For example, cooked spinach has a 5% bioavailability of phylloquinone. However when one adds fat to the spinach, the bioavailability increases to 13% due to the increased solubility of vitamin K in fat.
This nutrient can be destroyed by freezing and radiation as well as air pollution Absorption may be decreased when rancid fats are present, as well as excessive refined sugar, antibiotics, high dosages of vitamin E, or calcium and mineral oils.
Dietary fat is necessary for the absorption of this vitamin.