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Food Safety Focus (6th Issue, January 2007) – Food Incident Highlight

Vitamin K: A Brief Encounter

On 15 December 2006 , the Centre for Food Safety issued a food alert to warn people who are taking the blood thinning drug, warfarin, to seek medical advice on consumption of Anlene Phyto K milk products which contain added vitamin K.

Vitamin K is an essential fat-soluble micronutrient with an unequivocal function in maintaining normal blood clotting. On the other hand, its role in promoting bone health yet remains to be confirmed.

Good food sources of vitamin K include green leafy vegetables, vegetable oils (e.g. soybean oil and canola oil), as well as certain fermented foods such as cheese. Dietary supplements (e.g. multivitamins) and some fortified milk and health drinks may also contain vitamin K. In addition to these dietary sources, vitamin K is synthesized by bacteria in our intestines.

Clinical vitamin K deficiency due to inadequate dietary intake is rare and no adverse effects associated with vitamin K consumption from food or supplements among healthy adults have been reported. Members of the public should be able to meet the daily recommended intake for vitamin K simply by maintaining a varied and balanced diet.

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