Vitamin K is known as the “blood-clotting vitamin” for its important role in healing wounds. It is also an important factor in bone health. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that makes proteins for healthy bones and normal blood clotting. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, vitamin K helps produce four of the 13 proteins needed for blood clotting. Recent research is showing that eating more foods rich in vitamin K makes the heart healthier.
Scientists have found another reason for children to eat their green leafy vegetables. A study consisting of healthy adolescents showed that those who consumed the least vitamin K, were at 3.3 times greater risk for an unhealthy enlargement of the major pumping chamber of their heart. Only 25 percent of the teens in the study met current adequate intake levels of Vitamin K. The recommended intake for vitamin K for young adults is 75 micrograms. In those who consumed the least vitamin K1, the study found the overall size and wall thickness of the left ventricle were already significantly greater and the amount of blood the heart pumped out significantly lower.
The scientists believe theirs is the first study exploring associations between vitamin K and heart structure and function in young people. While more work is needed, their findings suggest that early interventions to ensure young people are getting adequate vitamin K1 could improve cardiovascular development and reduce future disease risk.
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that consists of both, vitamin K1 (phylloquinone ) and vitamin K2 (menaquinones). Vitamin K1 is primarily found in leafy green vegetables because it is directly involved in photosynthesis. It is also the main dietary form of vitamin K. On the other hand, Vitamin K2 is mainly of bacteria origin and mostly found in different animal-based and fermented foods. Foods rich in Vitamin K1 include leafy greens, such as Swiss chard, kale, parsley and spinach, broccoli and cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, dried basil, paprika and cayenne powder, soybeans, olive oil and prunes. Fermented dairy, including yogurt, cheeses, and fermented soy including miso, and organic eggs provide K2, which is especially helpful in increasing bone density and reducing the risk of fractures. Those with osteoporosis should consider supplementing 50 to 100 micrograms of VitaminK2. Vitamin K also works with vitamin D to ensure that calcium finds its way to the bones to help them develop properly.
Health benefits of vitamin K that have been proposed but not scientifically proven include protection against prostate cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
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Importance of Vitamin K: Scientists Found Another Reason for Children to Eat Green Leafy VegetablesChannel: The Refreshing Point