The main source of vitamin K (phylloquinone) is found in green plants. The other form of vitamin K (menaquinone) is created by bacteria living in the intestine. The synthetic form of vitamin K (Menadione), is the strongest.
There are two natural forms of vitamin K: vitamin K1 and vitamin K2. The first (K1) is derived from plants and is in our regular diet from green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and broccoli. Conversely, vitamin K2 is animal-derived and is found in small amounts from foods such as liver, certain cheeses, and other fermented foods, including natto food, made from fermented soybeans. Vitamin K2 can also be made by intestinal bacteria. Nature Made Vitamin K2 is naturally derived from the same microorganism present in natto food.
K is known for its function in blood clotting, new science has also linked vitamin K2 to supporting bone mineralization processes when combined with calcium. ( But Doctors like Tom Levy caution against Calcium overusage and the dangerous results)
Since vitamin K is so integral to good bone health, it is natural to assume that it may be used to treat certain bone problems.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging discovered that low level of K can lead to low bone mass density and an increase in hip fractures.
Those who take antibiotics for an extended period of time can also experience a lack of vitamin K. Taking Antibiotics can kill the bacteria that create vitamin K. Replenishment of gut health is therefore important. We have written before about the importance of gut bacteria.
A good diet supplies enough vitamin K. Although vitamin K is not usually given as a nutritional supplement, small amounts are available in some multivitamins. Supplements like K-right are a blend that could be considered.
A normal diet doesn’t contain enough vitamin K to cause side effects.It is generally believed that Newborns need vitamin K. Vitamin K is needed for the normal coagulation, or clotting, of blood
Newborns are given a vitamin K injection within a few hours of birth. A small percentage of newborns may have some bleeding problems before their own vitamin K activity is high enough. Premie babies may be deficient in vitamin K.
Isuues like bile duct blockage, liver disease (cirrhosis) and long-term treatment with antibiotics increase the need to take vitamin K.
Research is being done to look at the effect of vitamin K on osteoporosis and bone health. Vitamin K is also being studied to see if it protects against cancer cells.
Notable Vegetables High in Vitamin K
The best sources of vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) are dark, leafy green vegetable, especially
- Mustard Greens
- Swiss Chard
- Collard Greens
- Brussels Sprouts