Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin which is important for blood coagulation. If our body lacks vitamin K then it is unable to control the formation of a clot. Vitamin K helps to synchronize the process of blood coagulation by aiding in the conversion of certain coagulation factors in their natural forms.
How does the process of blood clotting take place?
When there is an injury, blood clotting occurs within the blood vessels. The platelets present in our blood vessels attach themselves and release chemicals to captivate more blood platelets. Three major components – Prothrombin, Thromboplastin and Calcium react to form Thrombin. Prothrombin is an unstable plasma protein which is secreted by the liver whereas Thromboplastin is a mixture of phospholipids and other tissue factors found in plasma. Thrombin then reacts with Fibrinogen to form Fibrin. Thrombin which is released from Prothrombin has pro-inflammatory effects which are caused by the activation of protease activating receptors. Fibrinogen is the vital coagulation protein which is vital in the formation of Fibrin. Finally Fibrin dictates the solidity of the clot. Vitamin K is simply an enzyme which acts as a catalyst in the formation of Prothrombin.
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Blood clotting prevents excessive bleeding both internally and externally. Anyone who may be deficient in Vitamin K, lacks the ability to produce these proteins which cause delays in the formation of blood clots. WARFARIN [COUMADIN], which is an antagonist for vitamin K is the anticoagulant drug used to suppress vitamin K. People who are at high risk of thromboembolism are prescribed WARFARIN which prevents the coagulation cascade by decreasing Vitamin K dependent factors. Patients on WARFARIN are advised to regularly monitor their PT/INR level so that their health care providers can adjust the doses. It has become very convenient through Home PT/INR monitoring to measure the level of the PT/INR in the comfort of your home. Patients can monitor their level themselves, check the reading and can take proper doses of their drug without going to labs or clinics. The meter is time saving, portable and gives you the freedom to take care of your health.
Are Vitamin K supplements safe?
Taking vitamin K supplements are proportionally safe. People who take any blood thinning medication such as WARFARIN must not take vitamin K without consulting their doctor or health care provider. If you are taking Vitamin K without doctor’s approval, you may be reversing or minimizing the effect of these Warfarins. Also if you take too much Warfarin, you may notice severe side effects such as excessive bleeding, bleeding from nose, vomiting blood or blood in the stool etc.
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