Most people know that it is important to take daily supplements of calcium to help their bones stay strong. But did you know that it is just as important for your bones to get enough vitamin K? Vitamin K is essential to bone health and bone formation. In fact, it goes hand in hand with calcium because vitamin K is essential for transporting calcium through the body.
Vitamin K is useful for more than bone health however. Vitamin K plays a crucial role in blood clotting, and helps the body clot blood after an accident, injury or even during surgery because it is responsible for creating the clotting factors in the liver. There are other health issues that may benefit form the use of vitamin K, and they are currently being researched including, celiac disease, morning sickness, and cystic fibrosis.
You can find vitamin K naturally in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, and kale. Cauliflower, cabbage, cheese and liver are also excellent sources of vitamin K, as well as asparagus, coffee, bacon and green tea. Vitamin K deficiency is rare, however it does occur when there is an inability to absorb the vitamin from the intestinal tract, and this can happen after a prolonged period of treatment with oral antibiotics which can destroy the beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract.
If you suffer from a vitamin K deficiency, you may have an increased likely hood to bruise or bleed easier causing a higher rate of nose bleeds, blood in the urine or even heavy menstrual bleeding.
Vitamin K deficiencies can sometimes occur in newborns who are breastfed that is why every newborn is given an injection of vitamin K to protect them from a possible deficiency. In very rare cases, a vitamin K deficiency in a newborn may result in an internal hemorrhage of the skull, however this is rare.
If you choose to supplement with vitamin K, the recommended dosage is 1mcg per 2.2 lbs of body fat. A rough guide to use is about 65 to 80 mcg for most adults. This amount can usually be ingested naturally by consuming leafy vegetables in your diet; however studies have shown that many adults are lacking in vitamin K.
Overdosing of vitamin K is rare, however if large amounts of synthetic vitamin K are consumed there is a risk of flushing, sweating, jaundice and anemia. Very large dosages may impair liver functioning and excess vitamin K in infants could lead to brain damage.