vitamin K

vitamin K An oil-soluble vitamin essential to the normal clotting of blood. Vitamin K is normally made within the body by intestinal bacteria, but it is also found in many foods, including leafy green vegetables, yogurt, egg yolk, and fish-liver oils. Deficiency may occur following the administration of drugs that inhibit the growth of the vitamin-synthesizing bacteria or as a result of disorders affecting the production or flow of bile necessary for the intestinal absorption of vitamin K. In newborn babies, the absence of intestinal bacteria coupled with the absence of body stores of vitamin K may result in hemorrhagic disease of the newborn. This is a dangerous condition because there can be bleeding into critical organs such as the brain. This disorder can be prevented by the administration of vitamin K to the baby shortly after birth or to the mother during labor. Daily adult requirement is 65 micrograms.