Pathophysiology

Vitamin K (vit K) is a fat-soluble vitamin obtained either by dietary intake (vit Ki) from vegetables and liver, and absorbed in the small gut or produced by bacterial synthesis in the gut and absorbed in the colon (vit K2). Its essential role in coagulation is as cofactor for the gamma carboxylation of the precursor proteins for factors II, VII, IX, X, protein C and S, all of which are produced in the liver. Until the routine prophylactic administration of vit K, deficiency was common in the neonate, almost exclusively a disease of breast-fed babies because 5 vit K in human breast milk cf. formula feeds, and 5 synthesis in the neonatal gut.

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