Health Benefits of Vitamin K: Food Sources, Deficiency Symptoms
Vitamin K seems to get less recognition than A to E, but it’s still an essential compound for having healthy and dense bones in the body. Without it, many debilitating mobility issues can result. Vitamin K is available in some foods, so you’ll need to focus on these food types if these conditions are hereditary in your family. There are many health benefits to adding extra vitamin K to your diet.
What Is the Recommended Daily Amount of Vitamin K ? (1)
What Are the Sources of Vitamin K?
Vitamin K in itself is more than just one compound. Usually it’s in reference to K1 and K2.
Vitamin K1 can be obtained by leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach, and kale. It can also be found in asparagus, beans, soybeans, and strawberries. Vitamin K2 can be obtained from dairy foods, eggs, and meats. It can also be synthesized by bacteria in the lab and produced in capsules as a supplement. Generally it’s K1 that you’ll be able to find as a supplement in the stores.
Vitamin K shots are often given to newborn babies as they are more likely to be born with this deficiency.
What Are Common Vitamin K Deficiency Symptoms?
Unlike other vitamin deficiencies, it’s not as simple to cure a vitamin K deficiency. Many people may suffer from osteopenia—abnormal condition of bone density loss, or osteoporosis—abnormal condition of loss of mineral bone density. As a person ages, they may become more prone to fractures, but hip fractures can take longer to heal. While there’s no known cure for these conditions, a person can up their vitamin K intake so that further bone losses do not occur.
A vitamin K deficiency can also result in heavier menstrual bleeding, gum bleeds, nose bleeds, cartilage calcification, brain bleeding in newborns, and excessive bruising of the skin. There may also be bleeding within the digestive tract and blood in the urine.
What Are the Health Benefits of Vitamin K?
Vitamin K has many health benefits. It’s essential in helping your blood to clot after injuries. This prevents excessive blood loss after a bad cut
Vitamin K1 is the type that is used to treat osteoporosis or osteopenia. Vitamin K can help to regulate the passage of calcium throughout your body, which is essential in preventing bone loss diseases, and decrease your risk of bone fractures.
Vitamin K is also taken by people who have thinner blood that can suffer from uncontrolled bleeding, either due to deficiency, or because they are taking blood thinner medication such as Coumadin that prevents strokes.
Vitamin K is also useful for people who have intestinal absorption issues that prevent them from gaining the nutrients they need from food, such as Celiac disease, or Crohn’s disease.
If you are taking any other drugs that can interfere with your body’s absorption of vitamin K from your foods it’s also beneficial to take vitamin K. It can also be good for people who are malnourished, such as in third world countries, or people who drink alcohol a lot, which can also cause nutrient absorption issues in the body.