Vitamins are essential micronutrients which the body requires, though in small amounts, for optimal health. These chemicals play a crucial role in keeping our body healthy and disease free.One such vitamin is vitamin K, which is essential for optimal blood clotting process, and also has multiple other benefits. More details about the functions, benefits and sources are listed below.
- Vitamin K is actually a group of vitamins and has K1, K2, and K3. The functions and benefits accordingly will depend on the actual chemical being referred to.
- These are fat soluble vitamins and therefore absorption is better when something fatty is eaten along with it
- Vitamin K1 or phyloquilline reaches the liver and is essential for blood clotting. Reduced levels of vitamin K can lead to uncontrolled bleeding, but this is very rare in adults. Newborns can have this problem, and therefore, it is common to give them a one shot of vitamin K injection.
- Vitamin K2 is produced by gut bacteria and reaches blood vessel walls and bones. It prevents hardening and calcification of arteries, which is the main cause of heart disease.
- It helps in improving calcium and other mineral concentration in the bones and makes the matrix strong. It can be used in osteoporosis to reverse and control bone loss. It can also be used to heal fractured bones.
- It slows the growth of cancer cells and can be used to stabilise cancer. It has been shown to improve multiple forms including hepatocellular, prostate, colon, and oral cancer.
- It is beneficial in controlling Alzheimer’s disease and improves memory loss in ageing people
- It improves insulin action and therefore prolongs onset of type 2 diabetes
- It has been shown to have antioxidant properties (as most other vitamins) and also helps in reducing toxin buildup
- It is good for skin health and can help control bruising and dermatitis
Vitamin K is found naturally in many foods and the daily dose required for an adult is about 120 to 150 mcg/day. Therefore supplementation is usually not required.
Leafy green vegetables including spinach, okra, cabbage, beans broccoli, and asparagus
- Fermented foods like yoghurt
- Soybean in all forms including medium cooked as well and Japanese diet uses boiled, fermented soybean called natto, which contains tremendous amount of vitamin K
- Nuts, such as cashews, almonds, walnuts, are a good source
- Strawberries, grapes, prunes, and apples
- Seafood such as salmon and shrimp contain good amount to control heart attack and stroke.
- Meat (duck, beef, chicken, and lamb)
Supplements are to be avoided, especially in pregnant and/or nursing mothers and people with a history of stroke, heart disease, heart attack and blood clotting problems.