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Is Too Much Vitamin K Bad for Those With High Blood Pressure?

author image Jennifer Lemacks
Jennifer Lemacks is an assistant professor at the University of Southern Mississippi with a doctorate in human nutrition from Florida State University, and is a registered dietitian trained in child and adolescent weight management. She has prepared, edited and presented various manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals and professional conferences.
Is Too Much Vitamin K Bad for Those With High Blood Pressure?
A nurse checks a patient's blood pressure. Photo Credit: KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images

It seems to make perfect sense that too much vitamin K may not be the best thing for your blood pressure control. Your suspicions may further be validated by the wide use of anti-coagulant prescriptions to prevent strokes, heart attacks or embolisms. According to the American Heart Association, an anti-coagulant may prevent your blood from clotting or existing clots from getting larger; by doing so, the drug inhibits vitamin K. However, if you only have high blood pressure, vitamin K is not going to worsen blood flow and may even help.

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Know More About Vitamin K

Vitamin K is well known for its role in the body's blood-clotting process. In rare situations when vitamin K is extremely low in the blood, uncontrollable bleeding may result when injury occurs, as with hemophiliacs. You can take in excessive vitamin K if you use supplements, but any adverse effects of this are unknown. If you are considering vitamin K supplementation or limiting the vitamin in your diet, consult a registered dietitian or physician before doing so.

Vitamin K and Blood Pressure

In a study published in the journal “Kidney and Blood Pressure Research” in 2010, researchers from the Ehime University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan found that low vitamin K may be associated with increased hardening of the arteries. This causes the heart to work harder to pump blood to the rest of the body, which may contribute to high blood pressure and increase the risk for cardiovascular disease.

Where to Find Vitamin K

Although there is not enough research available to officially claim any heart health benefits, it is usually safe to follow a diet high in fruits and vegetables. Vitamin K is naturally most abundant in green leafy vegetables such as collard greens, broccoli and spinach and is also made by gut bacteria in the body. It is highly uncommon for individuals to be deficient in vitamin K, and there is no definition of what too much vitamin K is.

Beware of False Claims

Some websites state that Vitamin K is the same thing as the mineral potassium. In the medical field, potassium is commonly abbreviated as K+; it is an element in the periodic table abundantly found in fruits and vegetables, has different functions in the body than that of vitamin K and is absolutely not the same as vitamin K.

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