Vitamin K dependent clotting factors

Vitamin K dependent clotting factors

How can we prevent the deficiency of vitamin K dependent clotting factors?

What are the clotting factors?

Blood clotting factors are proteins found in the blood that work together to make the blood clot. They are produced mainly by the liver.

Clotting factors are over a dozen. They are measured by Roman numerals from I to XIII.

When you get a cut, your body tries to deal with it. Firstly, the blood vessels shrink, trying to inhibit the blood leaking out. Secondly, some special cells called platelets get in the area to slow down the bleeding.

Then, the clotting factors arrive. These proteins form a solid mass, in order, to patch the leak and stop the bleeding. That’s the healing process.

In some cases, this healing process doesn’t work properly. Some people tend to bleed more easily, while others get clots when they shouldn’t. In these cases, blood clotting factors aren’t working as supposed to.

There are many factors that influence the good work of the clotting factors and the ability of blood to flow properly:

  • cigarette smoking,
  • injury,
  • advanced age,
  • lack of physical activity,
  • obesity,
  • major surgery,
  • use of estrogen supplements,
  • medical conditions (such as cancer, liver failure, or heart failure).

Vitamin K deficiency

Severe liver disease can reduce the production of clotting factors and increase the risk of excessive bleeding. Vitamin K deficiency can cause excessive bleeding, as the liver needs vitamin K to make some clotting factors. The deficiency of all vitamin K dependent clotting factors leads to a bleeding tendency. That can be reversed by administration of vitamin K.

Vitamin K sources

Leafy green vegetables are the richest dietary sources of vitamin K. The most vitamin K rich plants are collard greens, turnip greens, spinach, kale, and broccoli.

Moreover, you may benefit from taking vitamin K supplements. They’re safe for healthy people. There isn’t a maximum safe dose of vitamin K.

Sources:

  • NCBI – Bookshelf: Biochemistry, Clotting Factors