Like other vitamins, our body requires a sufficient amount of vitamin K. Yet; some vitamins don't get the attention they deserve - and vitamin K falls under that category. Without vitamin K, we run the risk of bleeding to death if we are injured and losing blood. Vitamin k makes the proteins needed to regulate the process of blood coagulation. Blood clots normally occur when there is damage to a blood vessel, and a blood clot helps prevent excessive bleeding throughout the body.
Vitamin K is a group of essential fat-soluble nutrient vitamins that keep bones healthy, help with blood clotting, heal wounds, and repair injuries. It also plays a role in fighting cardiovascular disease and regulating calcium in the brain. In recent studies, the effectiveness of vitamin k has been shown to support lowering the risk of Alzheimer's disease. Although there is no cure yet for Alzheimer's, people are concerned about the early onset of Alzheimer's disease. Studies have shown associations between reduced vitamin K and poor cognitive function, and yet increased blood levels of vitamin K are associated with an improved memory in healthy older adults.
Our bodies are vitamin K-dependent, and K has been found in the liver, heart, brain, pancreas, and bone. Without the Ks, the body cannot produce prothrombin, a plasma protein synthesized in the liver that is important in blood clotting and bone metabolism. K vitamin is vital in the bone-building process and helps prevent a build-up of calcium in soft tissues; vitamin K2 helps redistribute calcium in the bones where needed.
According to numerous studies, low levels of vitamin k have been associated with an increased risk of excessive bleeding, osteoporosis, and arthritis. People with vitamin K deficiency are often more likely to have bruising and bleeding.
Vitamin K is a complex of vitamins, with two main types of Vitamin K2, which are MK-4 and MK-7.
- Vitamin K is several vitamins – K1, K2, and K3.
- Vitamins K1 and K2 are used in nutritional supplements.
- Vitamin K1, also known as phylloquinone, comes from plant foods.
- Vitamin K2, also known as menaquinone, is found in the intestines.
- Vitamin K2 (MK-4 form) is found in butter, meat, eggs, and aged cheeses
- Vitamin K2 (MK-7 form) is found in fermented foods
Vitamin K Food
- Vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage
- Green leafy vegetables, such as kale, spinach, turnip greens, collards, Swiss chard, mustard greens, parsley, romaine, and green leaf lettuce
- Fish, liver, meat, eggs, and cereals (contain smaller amounts)
When taking a vitamin k supplement, pair it with vitamin D as it's an important partnership. Here's why:
Vitamin D3 helps us to metabolize calcium in the gut and helps maintain healthy bones. Vitamin K2 activates proteins in the body, and together they help the body use calcium to build bones.
Before you start taking any new supplements, ask your health care provider to monitor your intake of vitamin K and take blood-thinning drugs.
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