Vitamin K refers to a group of fat-soluble vitamins that play a role in blood clotting, bone metabolism, and regulating blood calcium levels. Deficiency is rare, but in severe cases, it can increase clotting time, leading to haemorrhage and excessive bleeding.
Without vitamin K, the body cannot produce prothrombin, a clotting factor that is necessary for blood clotting and bone metabolism.
The recommended adequate intake for vitamin K depends on age and gender. Women aged 19 years and over should consume 90 micrograms a day and men should have 120 micrograms.
Benefits of vitamin K
Vitamin K benefits the body in the various way:
- Bone health: There appears to be a correlation between low intake of vitamin K and osteoporosis. Vitamin K supports the maintenance of strong bones, improves bone density and decreases the risk of fractures.
- Cognitive health: Increased blood levels of vitamin K have been linked improved episodic memory in older adults. Healthy individuals over the age of 70 years with the highest blood levels of vitamin K1 had the highest verbal episodic memory performance.
- Heart health: Vitamin K may help keep blood pressure lower by preventing mineralization where minerals builds up in the arteries. This enables the heart to pump blood freely through the body. Adequate intake of vitamin K has also been shown to lower the risk of stroke.
Sources of vitamin K
Vitamin K1 occurs in high amounts in leafy green vegetables, such as kale and Swiss chard. Other sources include vegetable oils and some fruits.
Sources of menanoquines or K2 include meat, dairy products, eggs and Japanese ‘natto’ made from fermented soya beans.
Dietary fat enhances the absorption of vitamin K, so a salad of green leaves drizzled olive oil would both provide vitamin K and help the body absorb it.
But at the end of the day, speak to your doctor about your intake of vitamin K.
The best way to ensure the body has sufficient nutrients is to consume a balanced diet, with plenty of fruit and vegetables. Supplements should only be used in case of deficiency and then under medical supervision.
So vitamin K is very much needed in your body. Hope you enjoyed reading this article. This article is a complete guide to why vitamin K is important in our body.
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