Whilst vitamin K may not have the same prestige as some of the other vitamins, it is no less essential. Without it life would be very different, and not in a good way. The problem is that not many people are actually aware of just how vital it is, so arming yourself with this knowledge could make all the difference in your fight to stay healthy.
Often known as the “forgotten vitamin”, vitamin K is best known for its involvement in the body’s infrastructure. It is a fat-soluble nutrient that is required on a regular basis. As it is fat-soluble, any vitamin K that is not used is stored in the liver until it is needed. However, it is easy to run out, so make sure you are getting enough!
Here is our breakdown of all the basic information you need about this vitamin:
Vitamin K is not an overly abundant vitamin when you compare it to other essential vitamins, such as vitamin C. It is mainly found in leafy greens, such as broccoli and spinach. It can also be found in some raw cereals, and of course, in Uzuma slow juice.
As vitamin K can be stored in the body for later use, it is hard to define a set daily requirement. However, most health organisations recommend 0.001mg a day for each kilogram of body weight. This would mean that a 65 kilo person should try and consume 0.065mg a day.
The most well-known function of vitamin K is its role in blood clotting. In recent years, the term ‘blood clot’ has sometimes caused people to jump to the conclusion that it is bad, especially with cardiovascular disease on the rise – where a clot in the veins can cause serious problems. However, blood clotting is an essential bodily process, and is how we heal from cuts and scrapes. Without blood clotting, we would slowly bleed out and die, unable to stop blood flowing from even the smallest cut.
The second famous function of vitamin K is the role it plays in bone maintenance. It is used in conjunction with calcium and vitamin D to maintain the bones’ structure and prevent bone density loss. Somewhere between the ages of 20 – 30 most peoples’ bones reach their peak in density and strength, slowly deteriorating as they age further. Making sure you are getting enough vitamin K is an excellent way to help prevent and minimise the amount of bone density lost from such things as osteoporosis.
Improves brain function
Vitamin K is an essential competent in the creation of sphingolipids, a crucial fat used in the maintenance of the brain and central nervous system. Having enough vitamin K helps ensure your body has all the building blocks it needs to keep the brain running optimally, maintaining and boosting function as well as acting as a preventative measure against degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Acts as an antioxidant
Vitamin K is used to protect the body on a cellular level from oxidation, slowing the aging process and preventing all sorts of potential diseases.
Lowers the risk of heart disease
There is evidence to suggest that Vitamin K is used by the body to keep calcium out of the lining of blood vessels, thus preventing hardening of the arteries and all of the problems associated with it.
Helps prevent cancer
There are a large number of studies to show that vitamin K is beneficial in the prevention and treatment of many types of cancer.
If you don’t get enough vitamin K, then you could encounter problems with blood clotting, causing excess bleeding whenever you hurt yourself. Also, the onset of osteoporosis will be much more rapid.