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Vitamin K Prophylaxis in the Newborn: Indications and Controversies

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Abstract:

Vitamin K is an organic exogenous compound required by humans for a vital function in clotting. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that is easily depleted and poorly stored, requiring dietary replenishing given that it cannot be synthesized in sufficient quantities to meet the requirements of humans and higher mammals. Vitamin K actually refers to not one but a group of fat-soluble (lipophilic, hydrophobic) vitamins that share a common methylated naphthoquinone characteristic chemical structure. There are two naturally occurring forms of vitamin K— vitamin K1 and vitamin K2 (Figures 1 and 2). Vitamin K3 is a synthetic water-soluble substance that is chemically similar to natural vitamin K but with limited effectiveness (Figure 3).

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1891/0730-0832.32.3.193

Publication date: 2013-05-01

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