Role of Vitamin K in coagulation
Vitamin K plays a crucial role in blood coagulation, which is the process by which the body forms clots to stop bleeding. Vitamin K acts as a cofactor for a group of proteins known as the vitamin K-dependent clotting factors (II, VII, IX, and X ), which are involved in the activation of blood-clotting proteins. To be useful, vitamin K undergoes a series of oxidation and reduction reactions called the vitamin K cycle.
Vitamin K deficiency can result in impaired blood clotting, leading to spontaneous bleeding or excessive bleeding from cuts or injuries. Newborn infants are at particular risk because they have limited stores of vitamin K, and are often not able to produce enough of the vitamin on their own. This is why they are typically given a single injection of vitamin K shortly after birth.
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