Vitamin K Foods

You’ll find Vitamin K foods on the page about Vitamin Food Sources.

Vitamin K deficiency is recognized by the presence of easy bruising, ruptured capillaries and similar symptoms and is often a side effect of anticoagulant drugs.

Needed for:

Compound Fracture• helps avoid fractures like this by promoting bone health in adults – K is a cofactor in carboxylation of osteocalcin Br J Nutr 2008; 100:852-858

• a higher Vitamin K status is associated with more pronounced increase in bone mass in healthy peripubertal children Br J Nutr 2008; 100:852-858

• with Vitamin D binds to mineral crystals that concentrate in bone

• liver function

• vitality

• longevity

• phosphate, K and glucose pass through cell membranes as glycogen, a fat that can be stored for energy

• blood clotting


There are three forms of Vitamin K

• Vitamin K1 – Phylloquinone - fat soluble and produced in intestine

• K2 - Menaquinone - fat soluble and produced in intestine

• K3 – Menadione – water soluble and made synthetically for patients who cannot use K1 or K2


No RDA. AI is:

• Adults: Males 120 mcg/day; Females 90 mcg/day

• Teens 75 mcg/day

• Children 1-4 years 30 mcg/day; 4+ years 55 mcg/day

Dosage by Supplements

Body gets ½ of daily need from Vitamin K foods in the diet and ½ is created in intestines, so large amounts are not required in supplements. Note that amounts below are in micrograms. For years Health Canada would not approve Vitamin K for inclusion in supplements. The doses below are not for the synthetic form (K3).

• Adults maximum- 60 mcg/day

• Teens maximum– 60 mcg/day

• Children maximum - 1-4 years old 20 mcg/day; 4+ 40 mcg/day


Synthetic Vitamin K – normally K3 (Menadione) can be toxic because in this form it can build up in blood. Can cause jaundice and brain damage. Do not use synthetic form and do not exceed above doses.

Symptoms include sweating, flushing, chest tightness and itching.

More Information

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