Vitamin K and its roles:
- Indispensable for blood coagulation (factors II, IV, VII, X)
- Helps bone remodeling through the fixation of calcium hydroxyapatite or osteocalcin
There are 3 sources of vitamin K, classified according to their origins (vegetable, bacterial, synthetic,…). Vitamin K is stable to dry heat but extremely unstable when exposed to high pressure, water or high humidity. An over-dosage before production is necessary. Rodent poisons such as Warfarin, and coumarin found in sweet clover and sweet vernal grass are antagonistic to vitamin K.
The roles of vitamin K are related to the post-transcriptional activity on a glutamate containing protein. Fourteen proteins are in this gamma-carboxyglutamate group.
Depending on the age and physiological status of the horse, most needs can be met from the normal diet but it is sometimes necessary to supply an additional 1 to 15 mg of vitamin K per day.