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November 05, 2017

Vitamins are considered as micronutrients and play a critical role in maintaining overall health and vitality. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin and like the other fat-soluble vitamins of A, D, and E, it is stored in the body.

The chemical form of vitamin K is phylloquinone which is present in many foods including green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower as well as in cereals. The gut bacteria also synthesize another form of vitamin k known as menaquinone.  Menaquinones are also called vitamin K2 while phylloquinone is termed vitamin K1.

Phylloquinone is converted to menaquinone in the body of animals. K3 or menadione is a synthetic form of vitamin K and is also converted to menaquinone in the liver.

How Much Vitamin K Do We Need In A Day?

According to the Nutrient Reference Values of Australia and New Zealand adolescents need to consume 75 micrograms of vitamin K per day while children need 25 to 55 micrograms of vitamin K per day. Adults over 19 years need 60 micrograms of vitamin K in a day.

Health Functions Of Vitamin K

Blood clot: Vitamin K primarily helps in the normal blood coagulation. The vitamin is a crucial co-factor which helps convert a particular compound in the liver to its active form which can then promote clotting.

Bone health: Vitamin K is also involved in maintaining bone and mineral density and prevents loss of minerals from the bone beside minimizing the risk of fractures.

Cognitive health: Vitamin K has been shown to boost memory and cognition in older adults. According to a study, those with higher blood vitamin K levels had the optimal episodic memory as compared to those who had deficient or normal levels.

Heart health: Blood pressure is recognized as one of the critical risk factors for the development of heart disease. Vitamin K helps lower hypertension by reducing the risk of mineral or plaque build-up in arteries. With the absence of mineral deposits, there is no narrowing of arteries and blood circulation is improved, reducing blood pressure.

Mineralization sometimes is a normal part of ageing but can occur with excessive calcium intake in the form of supplementation or with certain other health conditions. Because vitamin K reduces blood pressure, it is also protective against stroke.

A Rotterdam study that recruited 4,809 adults found that those with the high intake of vitamin K had fewer incidences of heart attacks and reduced mineralization risks. Besides those that had optimal vitamin k intake also had the lowest mortality rate.

Disclaimer: The vitamin health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. VitaminsOnly strongly recommends to consult health care professionals for any questions concerning your health.

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