Compounds And Uses
Perhaps one of the lesser known but very important in the Vitamin family, Vitamin K is essential for protein modification and blood clotting. Recent studies suggest that Vitamin K may play a role in treating Osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s Disease, and that consuming increased levels of Vitamin K can help protect against Cancer and Heart Disease. Vitamin K is named after the German word for blood clotting (koagulation). In fact, this is probably the most common connection that people make with Vitamin K. It’s important to know this important vitamin makes a variety of unique contributions to our health, and knowledge about these contributions have been expanding in new and unexpected ways.
There are three basic types of vitamin K-K1, K2, and K3.
The K1 form of vitamin K is found in plant foods. Many of the best sources of this vitamin are green vegetables, this makes good sense since K1 is required for green plants to conduct the process of photosynthesis. The K2 form of vitamin K is made from K1 and K3 by bacteria and other microorganisms. It can also be made in the human body through a conversion process involving K1 and K3.
In plant foods, you won’t find much preformed K2, unless those plant foods have been fermented or otherwise transformed by bacteria or other microorganisms. Certain microorganisms can convert K1 into K2. A great example is Bacillus natto. This bacterium can convert K1 into K2 and it is often used in the production of fermented soy products. Vitamin K 3 is found in preformed food but in very small amounts, it is also known as Menadione.
Research is still being done on the health role of these small amounts of K3 in food. Some of the Known health benefits are:
Vitamin K is an essential part of Glutamic Acid, an Amino Acid that causes the chemical event called Carboxylation. Nose bleeding, heavy menstrual bleeding, easy bruising, and anemia are just some of the indications that a person could be Vitamin K deficient.
Vitamin K ensures healthy bones by two means. Firstly, it blocks the formation of too many Osteoclasts or bone cells that take minerals from the bones and makes them available to other bodily functions (A process called demineralisation). Secondly, a protein found in bones that is directly related to our bone mineral density called Osteocalcin, must be chemically altered through Carboxylation-the process associated with blood clotting.As this vitamin is a key ingredient in Carboxylation, proper intake can allow the protein Osteocalcin to strengthen the health and composition of our bones.
Though Vitamin K has not been shown to an an antioxidant in the same sense as C and E, the basic forms of Vitamin K, including phylloquinones and menaquinones, have been shown to protect cells from oxidative stress.
The best way to get the daily requirement of Vitamin K is by eating these food sources.
Green leafy vegetables, such as kale, spinach, turnip greens, collards, Swiss chard, mustard greens, parsley, romaine, and green leaf lettuce. Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, and Cabbage. Fish, meat, eggs and cereals contain smaller amounts.
It can also be taken in supplement form and as with taking supplements of any kind, if uncertain about dosages or have questions-find a reputable Holistic/ Health Food/Wellbeing source to find the answers you seek, and let wellness be your way.
It is found in the Green leafy vegetables, such as kale, spinach, turnip greens, collards, Swiss chard, mustard greens, parsley, romaine, and green leaf lettuce Vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage Fish, liver, meat, eggs, and cereals (contain smaller amounts)