What exactly is Vitamin KVitamin K is a fat-soluble, hydrophobic vitamin used in the transformation of protein strings in the body. The fat soluble part means that it gets carried easily in a fat. The hydrophobic portion means that it repels water. Vitamin K has two main and very important benefits to the body. Of prime importance, it is used for blood clotting. This is done by vitamin K combining carboxyl with glutamic acid during coagulating of the blood. It's what causes our blood to clot on an open wound and start the healing process.
The second benefit of vitamin k is to assist in the transition of proteins into Osteocalcin. Osteocalcin helps in the bone mineral density of the body. It's how strong our bones are by bringing minerals to be brought into the bone and making them more compact and dense.
There are two natural types of vitamin K. Vitamin K1, which is also called Phylloquinone, is the more common of the two. It is only by eating foods that contain vitamin K1.
Vitamin K2, also known as Menaquinone, is created by bacteria in our large intestine. Both vitamin types handle the same two tasks of blood clotting and bone strength building.
Vitamin K DeficiencyThe average diet combined with natural bacterial activity can usually address an adequate amount of vitamin k that the human body will use. This is under regular conditions and there are some special cases where a regular person can become vitamin k deficient. Those at danger of vitamin k deficiency are those that drink large quantities of alcohol or that have liver conditions. Also any intestinal disorders can give stress to the vitamin k producing bacteria. All bacteria is vulnerable to antibiotics. The antibiotics will destroy the good bacteria that makes vitamin K2 for the body.
The signs of vitamin K deficiency are centered on the two main benefits. A trouble in blood coagulating is the more apparent of the two and the simplest to fix. Blood will have troubles clotting when not in the presence of vitamin K so bringing vitamin k levels up in the body will cure this. The second deficiency concern is more long term and more difficult to cure. Since vitamin K is so important in bone strength, a vitamin k deficiency can help lead to Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens the bone strength to the point where the bone become brittle and easily broken.
Sources of Vitamin KAs stated earlier, Vitamin K2 is made in the body by bacteria in the large intestine. As long as the large intestine remains healthy then bacteria will keep producing. Vitamin K1 on the other hand cannot be produced by the body and must be gained through food or supplemental vitamins. Vegetables like spinach and broccoli a high source of vitamin K1. Cauliflower and parsley are other vegetables rich in vitamin K. Kiwis and avocados are also full of vitamin K. Oils such as soybean oil have a good quantity of vitamin K. The higher caloric amount might outweigh the vitamin K benefits though.
One trouble with vitamin K is the bioavailability is low. Bioavailability is how well the human body can absorb food and vitamins. Vitamin K1 has a low bioavailability partially because of its hydrophobic qualities. Another of its characteristics can be used to balance this. Since vitamin k is fat-soluble, the addition of fats at at time of consumption can increase the body's power to absorb vitamin K1.
A supplemental pill might be the ideal way to increase your vitamin K intake. There is no danger of toxicity so one cannot o.d. on vitamin K. The health benefits of improved coagulating and bone structure have been observed by taking amounts greater than the recommended daily allowance. Because of vitamin K's low bioavailability, a person may not retain all the vitamin K that they eat through fruits and vegetables. Vitamin supplements give an additional boost in the amount retained.