Vitamin K: Health Benefits, Facts and Top Sources

Most commonly known as the ‘coagulation vitamin’, there are major health benefits of Vitamin K. The origin of the term Vitamin K comes from the German spelling of the word, koagulation. This means that Vitamin K is essential for proper blood clotting. The absence of Vitamin K would lead to deadly effects as blood would not clot, hence causing excessive bleeding.

There are 3 types of Vitamin K, Vitamin K1, K2 and K3. Out of them, Vitamin K1 and K2 are found in natural forms; K1 from plants and green vegetables, and K2 from bacteria found in our intestines.

Vitamin K3 is found in synthetic form and not recommended for consumption.

Health benefits of Vitamin K

  • Vitamin K2 protects your heart

One of the most important benefits is that it prevents the hardening of the arteries of your heart. This lowers the risk of heart failure and related heart diseases.

 

  • Vitamin K2 is good for the bones

Vitamin K is an absolute must for healthy bones in your body. It has been studied that absence of Vitamin K or even having a diet which is less in it highly increases the risk of osteoporosis. Having a diet rich in green, leafy vegetables is recommended, as it helps build stronger bones in the human body.

  • Vitamin K helps in blood clotting

One of the most common health benefits of Vitamin K is the fact that Vitamin K is essential in blood clotting. Without this factor, we would bleed out in case of wounds or injuries. This could be fatal. It contains factors which assist in blood clotting, thus helping us recover faster.

  • Vitamin K1 helps improve cognitive health

Vitamin K1, found mostly from plants and green vegetables have seen to improve cognitive health in adults. Studies have proven that adults over 70 having high levels of vitamin K in their blood were seen to showcase better performances in episodic memory tests.

  • Vitamin K helps prevent cancer

Probably one of the most important health benefits on consuming adequate amount of it in your diet is that it also helps prevent cancer. Treating cancer patients with Vitamin K rich diets have been seen to slow down the growth of cancer cells. While Vitamin K might not be able to cure cancer, it can surely slow down the effects of cancer.

Top Sources of Vitamin K

As there are 3 types of Vitamin K; Vitamin K1 and K2 are found in natural forms and are extremely beneficial for health, while Vitamin K3 is found only in a synthetic form and is not good for health.

Vitamin K1 is found in green vegetables and plants. Some of the vegetables with the highest source of Vitamin K are;

  1. Kale, cooked, ½ cup: 630 mcg
  2. Collard greens, cooked, ½ cup: 520 mcg
  3. Spinach, cooked, ½ cup: 510 mcg
  4. Some kale leaves.
  5. Turnip greens, cooked, ½ cup: 425 mcg
  6. Swiss chard, cooked, ½ cup: 287 mcg
  7. Brussels sprouts, cooked, ½ cup: 110 mcg
  8. Cauliflower, raw, ½ cup: 96 mcg
  9. Parsley, 10 sprigs: 90 mcg
  10. Broccoli, raw, ½ cup: 58 mcg
  11. Asparagus, cooked, ½ cup: 75 mcg
  12. Lettuce, green leaf, raw, ½ cup: 50 mcg.

Vitamin K2 is found naturally in the human intestines; formed by certain bacteria living in the intestines.

The sources of Vitamin K2 which you can incorporate in your diet are;

  1. Natto 3.5 ounces 1,000 mcg
  2. Whole egg mayonnaise 197 mcg
  3. Miso 10-30 mcg
  4. Lamb or duck 1 cup 6 mcg
  5. Beef liver 1 cup 5 mcg
  6. Dark meat turkey 1 cup 5 mcg
  7. Chicken liver 1 cup 3 mcg

An important factor for bone health, blood clotting as well as several other benefits, this vitamin must be incorporated into your everyday diet to live a long, healthy life.

 

How Much Value should intake according to Age:

For Children:

  • Baby birth – 6 months: 2 mcg
  • 7 – 12 months: 2.5 mcg
  • 1 – 3 years: 25 mcg
  • Children 4 – 8 years: 50 mcg
  • 9 – 13 years: 62 mcg
  • 14 – 18 years: 75 mcg

An injection of Vitamin K also given at the time of birth after consulting paediatrician.

For Adults:

  • Men 19 years and older: 125 mcg
  • Women 19 years and older: 95 mcg
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women 15 – 20 years: 75 mcg

Pregnant or breastfeeding women 20 years and older: 90 mcg

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