Q:

What is a natural blood coagulant?

A:

Vitamin K is a natural blood coagulant. In fact, the "K" is from the Danish world for coagulation, which is "koagulationsvitamin." A vitamin K deficiency will lead to blood clotting issues. People with the deficiency also bruise easily and are subject to spontaneous nosebleeds and abdominal pains. Fortunately, deficiency in vitamin K is rare.

Vitamin K produces four of the proteins that are needed to make blood clots. It comes in three forms: phytonadione, menaquinone and menaphthone. Phytonadione can be purchased as a supplement in the United States. Vitamin K can also be found in liquid chlorophyll or chlorophyll tablets.

A long course of antibiotics may cause a vitamin K deficiency. The antibiotics alter the flora in the intestines that are responsible for producing some of the body's vitamin K. Vitamin K deficiency can happen when the vitamin is not properly absorbed through the intestinal tract. Liver disease, gallbladder disease, Crohn disease or cystic fibrosis can also lead to a deficiency in vitamin K.

The easiest way to get vitamin K is through eating green, leafy vegetables like kale and spinach. Vitamin K is also abundant in eggs, alfalfa, root vegetables, fruits and seeds. Supplements are another way to increase vitamin K in the body. Patients on anticoagulants should consult with a doctor before adding vitamin K to the diet.

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