Vitamin K’s functions in the body include helping with blood clotting, promoting the mineralization of bone and maintaining the health of blood vessels, says Life Extension Magazine. Doctors use it to treat bleeding, to prevent or treat weak or brittle bones, and as an antidote to blood-thinning medications, explains WebMD.
Vitamin K plays an important role in the clotting cascade, a complex physiological process that allows injured blood vessels to form clots. At the same time, it prevents unnecessary blood clotting, which keeps blood flowing freely though the blood vessels, explains Life Extension Magazine. These properties make Vitamin K useful in the treatment of bleeding in newborns who are unable to make sufficient Vitamin K and in people who have taken certain medicines, such as aspirin, sulfa drugs, antibiotics and quinidine, according to WebMD. Vitamin K may also be useful in preventing fatal complications of severe bacterial sepsis, state Life Extension Magazine.
Some people apply vitamin K directly to the skin in an attempt to decrease spider veins, bruising, stretch marks and burns, says WebMD. Doctors also prescribe it for the skin condition rosacea, and to speed healing and reduce swelling and bruising after surgery.
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin found in green, leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, and in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts. It is available in two forms, vitamin K1, or phytonadione, and vitamin K2, or menaquinone. Most doctors prefer vitamin K1 because it works more quickly, is less toxic and is stronger, says WebMD.