Vitamin K has many health benefits. It assists bodily functions, such as the creation of various proteins that are needed for blood clotting and even the building of bones. Your body stores this vitamin in the liver, heart, brain, pancreas, and bone. The process of how it is broken down and absorbed is actually quick and the excess goes out of your system through urine or stool. Due to this, it is highly unlikely that vitamin K can reach toxic levels inside your body. Today we are going to tell you more about this important nutrient and why it is beneficial for your health!
What is Vitamin K?
Vitamin K is a collective name for a group of fat-soluble vitamins that are essential for bodily functions, such as blood clotting, regulation of blood calcium levels, and bone metabolism. Your body literally depends on vitamin K for producing prothrombin – a protein that is responsible for blood clotting and bone metabolism. It is not a good idea for people who take blood-thinning medications to consume additional vitamin K without first consulting with a health care specialist.
The deficiency of this vitamin is actually rare, however, people that suffer a severe deficiency of vitamin K can experience hemorrhage and excessive bleeding.
As we mentioned above, Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that comes in two forms. The main type is called phylloquinone, and it is found in green leafy vegetables. The second type is menaquinones, which are found in some animal and fermented foods. However, our body can produce menaquinones with the help of bacteria.
What are the benefits of Vitamin K?
Vitamin K has a lot of important health benefits. It assists the proper functioning of your body in several different ways:
Vitamin K for Healthy Bones
According to some research, there seems to be a correlation between low levels of this vitamin and osteoporosis. It is suggested that vitamin K supports healthy bones, helps improve their density, and can even decrease the risk of fractures. However, these claims are not yet 100% backed up by science.
Heart and Brain health
According to a study, increased blood levels of vitamin K have been linked to improved memory in older people.
Vitamin K also assists heart health by keeping your blood pressure low by preventing mineralization – a process where minerals build up in the arteries. Thanks to this, the heart is able to pump blood freely through the body.
•Did you know that mineralization occurs naturally with age, and it is one of the major risk factors for heart disease?
Sources of Vitamin K
Vitamin K1 (Phylloquinone) can be found in high amounts in leafy green vegetables, such as kale and spinach. It is also found in vegetable oils and some fruits like blueberries and figs.
Sources of Vitamin K2, or menanoquines, include meat, eggs, and dairy products.
As of now, there hasn’t been established an upper limit for the intake of vitamin K. As we mentioned above, overdosing on this nutrient is rare and highly unlikely to result from eating foods that contain it. However, before taking any type of supplement you have to consult your doctor first!
You should keep in mind that Vitamin K is capable of interacting with several common medications, including blood thinners, antibiotics, anticonvulsants, cholesterol-lowering medicine, and even some weight-loss supplements.