We hope you are enjoying our travels through the vitamin world. Today, we will be talking about Vitamin K. Vitamin K is a fat soluble nutrient – this means it can be stored in the body.
Typically, we are not likely to be short of vitamin K but please read on because there are specific conditions that make deficiency more likely. This also means you will find fewer supplements that are just vitamin K. This is a vital nutrient but it tends to be supplied as part of specific formulas such as bone or heart formulas in accordance with its action within the body.
Vitamin K is essential to good blood clotting. Without effective blood clotting we can bleed more than is appropriate. This could show itself when we injure ourselves, or though the menstrual cycle. We may also bruise easily.
Bones need vitamin K for healthy development and this nutrient is recognised to be instrumental in the healing of fractures.
The cell creation for bone and kidney tissue is also dependent on a good supply of vitamin K.
Vitamin K helps to manage calcium levels in the body. If we have too much calcium in our bodies we can experience calcification of our arteries i.e. hardening of the arteries which can lead to coronary heart disease. Vitamin K manages calcium within our bodies.
EFSA support Vitamin K acknowledging it to:
- Contribute to normal blood clotting
- Contribute to the maintenance of normal bones
Best Food Sources
- Dark green leafy vegetables are a key source of this nutrient
- Dandelion greens
- Mustard greens
- Swiss chard
- Spring onions
- Asparagus to name a few!
- We also create vitamin K2 in our intestines. Our friendly bacteria generate a reaction that allows our body to provide us with a bio effective supply of K2. Please be aware that this balance can be disturbed by antibiotics and other medications.
Types of Vitamin K
K1 = Phyllo Quinone
K2 = Mena Quinone
K2 is the most bioeffective version of this nutrient. It supports our healing of bone fractures and osteoporosis.
K1 is found in dark green leafy vegetables.
Who needs Vitamin K?
- Those with poor gut health as a result of a condition such as coeliac disease or where there are absorption issues.
- If your diet is not nutrient rich it is worth considering a supplement.
- People who are taking medications may be deficient although it is important to note that if you are taking blood thinning medication please consult your Doctor prior to taking this supplement.
- New-borns sometimes do not have sufficient bacteria in their intestines. This means their bodies cannot convert bacteria into vitamin K. Generally these children are given an injection.
- If you suffer from the following then you may need extra vitamin K:
- Heavy periods
- Excessive bleeding
- Bone density problems
- Easy and regular bruising
How can I get enough Vitamin K?
Variety is the spice of life and a good rule of thumb for all nutrients. Eat a broad range of foods offering you each of the vital nutrients. This makes your diet more interesting but also ensures you get a broad spectrum of nutrients too.
At the risk of boring you silly…
A good diet is one containing lots of vegetables, some fruit, healthy essential fatty acids, water and good sources of protein with some carbohydrates. It goes without saying that all foods should be organic where possible. If you follow our basic guidance you are taking a very positive step towards a healthy body.
If you eat lots of ready meals and processed foods you are far more susceptible to nutrient deficiency. Taking the time to make your own fresh foods is not only good for your health but can be interesting. It allows you to identify new flavours and textures especially if you eat the local foods of the season.
Sadly, we will repeat this statement throughout this series of blogs. The nutrients in our modern diet do not compare to those of our ancestors. In previous times, our ancestors ate approximately 20 times more nutrients than we do today.
The ancestral diet was comprised berries, fruits and other vegetables. Today, we eat processed ready meals that lack the nutrient content our bodies need. In addition, the intensive farming of our land means that nutrients are vastly depleted from the soil. It is going to take a long time to recover this situation. The processing of our food removes even more nutrients.
This means we are exposed to a nutrient deficiency. We simply do not get the nutrients we need to thrive in this modern world. It is our aim for our customers that they do not just survive but achieve optimal health. In our opinion, it is extremely difficult to achieve this without the help of supplements.