I have said many times before, vitamins are nutrients our body requires but does not make. Most people know about vitamins A, B, C, D, and/or E, but vitamin K goes under most folks’ nutritional radar. Yet it is essential for life because our body requires its presence for blood to clot. Food provides vitamin K also to support healthy aging. Scientists have discovered vitamin K-dependent proteins in many body tissues. Vitamin K, therefore, plays a physiological role beyond blood clotting. For example, in arterial tissue, proteins dependent on vitamin K can help prevent calcification. This is critical because arterial calcification can lead to heart attacks. Also, vitamin K-dependent proteins are suspected to play a role in osteoarthritis.
Like Vitamin B there are also multiple forms of vitamin K. Scientists know of at least 12 forms of this fat-soluble vitamin. Phylloquinone, also known as vitamin K1, is synthesized by plants. Green leafy vegetables, like spinach and collard greens, and vegetable oils, like soybean and canola oil, contain high amounts of phylloquinone. K2, or menaquinones, are produced by bacteria that line the walls of the gastrointestinal tract. This vitamin keeps the walls of the blood vessels strong, as well as the bones tissues. It is found in egg yolks, organ meats, and dairies.k
When I can’t eat foods with Vit. K
In partnership with Tuft University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the USDA’s Food Data Central website, houses the most comprehensive nutrition free database in the world. Over 350,000 foods are profiled. This is a great resource please have a look.
Some intake parameters are; men over 18, the adequate intake for vitamin K is 120 micrograms a day, women, it is 90 micrograms a day. One cup of raw spinach contains 145 micrograms of phylloquinone.
Caveat and the truth – it is very difficult to isolate the effect of a nutrient directly to a single health outcome, and even more difficult to recommend supplement use based on the studies that have been done to date. It is always best to eat food containing vitamins than to take OTC supplements.