There are two types of vitamins: fat soluble and water soluble. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning that it is stored in the body; it is also essential for many processes that occur in the body. Vitamin K is available in many of delicious foods that you might already be eating. A vitamin K deficiency is rare.
The main role of vitamin K is its influence on your blood's clotting ability. If your blood didn't clot, any scrape, scratch or bruise could result in a life-threatening situation. Vitamin K helps form the proteins necessary for your blood's clotting factor. Vitamin K is so powerful, that certain blood thinning medications work only to stop the action of Vitamin K.
Bone Growth and Maintenance
It is amazing how complex some parts of the human body are. For proper bone growth and maintenance, your body uses multiple vitamins. Vitamin K and vitamin D work together to produce a protein necessary for bones. Without this protein, minerals could not bind together to form your dense bones. According to a study published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" in January 1999, low vitamin K intake is associated with increased hip fractures in women.
Without vitamin K, your cells may not be able to grow properly. An essential protein responsible for maintaining cell growth and reproduction is dependent upon vitamin K. A cell's life, growth and maintenance all rely on vitamin K. Extremely important cells, like those of your nervous system, can be negatively affected when you lack vitamin K.
Recommendations vary for men and women. An adult male requires 120 mcg of vitamin K per day and an adult female needs 90 mcg per day. Leafy green vegetables provide about 300 mcg in a 3-oz. serving. Other vegetables like broccoli, brussel sprouts and cabbage are good sources of vitamin K as well. Oils like canola and soybean can help you get your vitamin K intake for the day also.
- "Nutrition: Concepts and Controversies"; Francis Sizer and Eleanor Whitney; 2003.
- "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition": Vitamin K intake and hip fractures in women: a prospective study
- Oregon State University: Vitamin K