Vitamin K is a group of fat-soluble vitamins essential for the functioning of several proteins involved in blood clotting. Insufficient vitamin K can lead to excessive bleeding and easy bruising. Without sufficient amounts of vitamin K, calcium can build up on the arterial wall resulting in vascular and cardiovascular problems.
Vitamin K is also involved in maintaining healthy bones by assisting in the transportation of calcium from the blood to the bone. Low blood levels of vitamin K have been associated with low bone density. Maintaining adequate levels of vitamin K can improve bone health while reducing the risk of fractures.
There are two basic forms of vitamin K:
- Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) – comes from the diet, especially green leafy vegetables
- Vitamin K2 (menaquinone) – produced by bacteria in the intestine and includes different forms such as MK-7 and MK-4
This blood test measures only vitamin K1.
Fasting is not required for this test. Take all medications as prescribed.