Vitamin K has a well-established reputation for promoting blood clotting. Its letter comes from the German word koagulation. Most newborn babies receive a shot of vitamin K as a preventative measure against hemorrhaging. This coagulating function has long overshadowed other crucial aspects of the micronutrient's worth, such as its contribution to strong bones and heart, lowering cancer risk, and protection from diabetes, calcification and internal bleeding. A growing body of research is bringing to light the immense benefits of this otherwise "forgotten vitamin", a catalyst behind many physiological processes.
Vitamin K is a group of compounds. Two forms appear in nature: K1 (phylloquinone or phytonadione) which occurs in plants, and K2 (a family of molecules known as menaquinones), which are synthesized within our intestinal tract and present in animal products and fermented foods. A synthetic form, K3 (menadione) is no longer used to treat vitamin K deficiency.
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