VITAMIN K IN PARROT DIETFunction, Sources and a Toxic Ingredient in Most Pellets.by Sally Blanchard
- Basic information: Vitamin K is actually a group of chemically-related substances and their basic bodily function is proper blood clotting, but it is also believed to be necessary for bone health and metablolsm. Another important function is regulating blood calcium levels.
- Years ago, many conures had serious problems with blood clotting and internal hemorrhaging, too often resulting in death. This was related to a seed-only death diet and conures seemed to have serious problems with vitamin K deficiencies. They still do (along with other parrots) on a seed-only, predominately seed diet or a total pelleted diet.
- With a fresh food diet, this should no longer be a problem. Vitamin K is found in most leafy greens, parsley, peas, carrots, broccoli, and other Cruciferous vegetables. Added information: other sources include alfalfa. celery, okra, cabbage, sprouts, and asparagus. Leafy greens are the major source. Kale is a "powerhouse" source for vitamin K
- All manufactured diets (pellets) except for a very few use the chemical Menadione as a source of vitamin K activity - it is not even vitamin K and doesn't even work the same way. Some companies refer to it as Menadione Bisulfate Complex or other fancy middle and last names. You can bet that if a company list an ingredient as "A Souce of Vitamin K Activity", it is Menadione. Menadione is banned for human use in the USA and is a cheap and problematic artificial source of vitamin K. It is also banned in most countries in Europe and others around the world because it is considered a carcinogen - cancer producing. I won't feed my parrots any foods with menadione in them. If you want to know more about this horrible ingredient in parrot and other pet pellets, please click on the link to the article below.