Vitamin K is a vitamin often found in leafy green vegetables such as broccoli. It is perhaps best known for its vital role in preventing blood clots but it's often overlooked as a crucial vitamin responsibly for many other key health benefits. Vitamin K is part of the family of vitamins known for improving heart health, preventing heart disease and strengthening bones. Vitamin K works hand in hand with calcium to improve bone health and is a crucial component of the everyday diet. Vitamin K also works with Vitamin D and the two vitamins need one another to work efficiently and effectively in the body.
Vitamin K1 is Crucial to Prevent Blood Clotting
Vitamin K is well known for its ability to prevent and fight blood clots. Vitamin K can be used to reverse the effects of anticoagulation caused by too much Warfarin, a blood thinner used to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Kale, spinach, brussel sprouts and cauliflower and cabbage are all high in Vitamin K1.
Vitamin K2 has Tremendous Cardiovascular Benefits
Vitamin K helps the body to avoid calcium deposits in the arteries around the heart. “Adequate intake of vitamin K2 has been shown to lower the risk of vascular damage because it activates MGP, which inhibits calcium from depositing in the vessel walls. Hence, calcium is available for other multiple roles in the body, leaving the arteries healthy and flexible.” Nutraceutical Business Review - Vitamin K2: New Research Confirms role in Heart Health. Studies have shown that a higher consumptions of Vitamin K2 can lead to less calcium deposits near the aorta.
Vitamin K2 can Prevent the Body from Fighting Osteoporosis
K2 is known as a powerful vitamin to increase bone strength and health and fight against osteoporosis, a medical condition which affects as many as 3 million people each year in the United States, in which the bones become frail from a loss of tissue. K2 is known to reduce the risk of bone fractures. However, studies are ongoing says WebMD in an article 'No Help Vitamin K no Help for Bone Density, “Though often touted as a way to strengthen bones, taking vitamin K for osteopenia does not protect postmenopausal women from age-related declines in bone density, a new study shows. But it may help them avoid fractures or cancers. The findings relating to fracture and cancer avoidance were "unexpected," says Angela Cheung, MD, of Toronto's University Health Network and lead author of the study. "It is intriguing and gives us reason for additional research."
Vitamin K May Help to Prevent Cancer
Cancer Active says, “...Recent advances in our knowledge are showing that it has real anti-cancer benefits, especially with Liver cancer. Indeed, a major rethink is necessary on the daily levels we need. 2010 research (American Journal of Nutrition) shows that people with the highest intake of vitamin K have the lowest risk of cancer and a 30 per cent reduction in mortality if they do have cancer.” A notable 2003 study published in the Journal of Oncology found that patients with lung cancer receiving doses of Vitamin K slowed the growth of lung cancer cells. A 2008 German study showed further benefits of Vitamin K2 in preventing and providing protection against prostate cancer.
Vitamin K may Fight Diabetes II
Vitamin K has been shown in studies to reduce the risk of diabetes. In an article on Life Extension, titled, The Surprising Longevity Benefits of Vitamin K, the article states that “Vitamin K has also been found to have a direct impact on the diabetic state itself. In a group of healthy volunteers between 26 and 81 years old, higher dietary vitamin K1 intake was associated with greater insulin sensitivity and lower post-meal glucose levels. And in a study of older adults at high risk for cardiovascular disease, the risk of developing type II diabetes was reduced by 17% per 100 micrograms of K1 intake per day. Another study demonstrated that both vitamins K1 and K2 reduced the risk of developing diabetes. However, the stronger and more significant association occurred with K2, which reduced the risk of type II diabetes by 7% for each 10-microgram increase in intake.” In short, studies have shown that people who people who consumed Vitamin K less were more likely to later develop Type II Diabetes.
Women that are pregnant or breastfeeding, children diabetics and people with liver and kidney disease should all consult their physicians before taking Vitamin K.