Vitamin K may be one of those vitamins that we don’t hear about much. Even though it’s less commonly spoken of compared with vitamin C or the vitamin B groups, it’s equally important for the healthy functioning of the mind and body. The three main benefits of getting adequate amounts of vitamin K every day are that it firstly helps protect against osteoporosis, it allows for blood to clot normally without causing terminal blood clots that can lead to death, and it prevents oxidative cell damage.
A deficiency in vitamin K can lead to frequent and sever bleeding and bruising on the body even from minor bumps. Problems with the digestive system are also quite common where the body has difficulty absorbing nutrients correctly, as well as liver problems.
Vitamin K consumption can be increased by including more of certain foods into a daily balanced diet. Food like spinach, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus and green beans are good sources of vitamin K. The best thing is to include one or two servings of dark green and leafy vegetables into your day, on a sandwich at lunch or with salad for dinner.
Earlier mentioned vitamin K is important for correct blood clotting. Blood needs to be a certain consistency in order for us not to bleed to death when we experience a small or large cut. It also works in reverse where it decreases the chances of blood clotting for example due to DVT. Therefore it is clear that vitamin K is important because blood clotting is a complex system that needs to be regulated in order for the body to function normally.
Many people today suffer from osteoporosis. Vitamin K helps prevent osteoporosis in the future as it increases bone mass and density, leading to stronger bones. Vitamin K decreases within the body as we age, this makes our bodies more prone to fractures and more severe breaks. This is the time where a vitamin K supplement and a chat to the doctor may be required.
Vitamin K can play the role in treatment as well as prevention of many diseases. Cancer, easy bruising, heart attacks, stroke, kidney stones, heavy menstrual pain or flow as well as many other diseases can be prevented or treated with adequate consumption of vitamin K. Of course other factors also need to be considered as vitamin K does not hold the primary responsibility to our health, it is simply one of the important components.
The recommended daily amount of vitamin K is dependent on your body weight. The average adult requires approximately 0.001mg per kilogram of body weight. The belief is that supplementation should not be required if you eat a healthy well balanced diet.