Few people know how important vitamin K is for their body. Vitamin K not only controls blood clotting, it also activates bone formation and protects against cancer. Vitamin K prevents the calcium in the blood to settle as deadly plaque in the arteries and keeps our vessels clean. Adequate intake with the right diet can easily and naturally prevent vitamin K deficiency. Protect your health with vitamin K.
What is vitamin K
Vitamin K, like vitamin A, D and E, is one of the fat-soluble vitamins. In order to increase their uptake via food, the simultaneous consumption of healthy fats or oils is therefore very beneficial.
There are two naturally occurring forms of vitamin K: vitamin K1 and vitamin K2. However, vitamin K2 appears to be the most active form of both.
Vitamin K1 is mainly found in the leaves of different green plants, which we will discuss below. Vitamin K1 can therefore be absorbed via the food and can be converted by the organism to the more active vitamin K2.
Vitamin K2, on the other hand, is formed by microorganisms – including the bacteria of our own intestinal flora and can be absorbed directly via the intestinal cells. Not only is a healthy bowel a basic prerequisite for the supply of all nutrients and trace elements that our body needs to live. Also raw sauerkraut, butter, egg yolk, liver, some cheese varieties and the fermented soya product Natto are vitamin K2 sources.
But what exactly does vitamin K do in our bodies?
Vitamin K regulates blood clotting
Our organism needs a portion of vitamin K, so that blood coagulation can work. A deficiency of vitamin K thus inhibits the coagulation ability of the blood, which can lead to increased bleeding. In order to avoid this, the body should always be supplied with sufficient vitamin K.
It is interesting to note that high doses of vitamin K do not lead to increased blood coagulation or increased risk of thrombosis. Our body is able to use the existing vitamin K optimally so that the blood coagulation remains in equilibrium.
Vitamin K against arteriosclerosis
Vitamin K is of great importance not only for blood coagulation, but also for the prevention and reconstruction of arterial calcifications. But how does it come to such a life-threatening plaque deposit in our blood vessels?
Vitamin K regulates calcium levels in the blood
Normally, calcium is an important mineral that is used in many processes, such as the formation of bones and teeth, in our body. But if our body is unable to withdraw the calcium from the blood for these processes, it remains in the blood and is absorbed by the vascular walls. The walls of the arteries smear in the truest sense of the word. It is also assumed that this may lead to a deposition of the lime in the form of kidney stones.
At this point, vitamin K is used: it removes excess calcium from the blood so that it can be used for bone and tooth formation and does not accumulate in the blood vessels or the kidneys. A sufficiently high vitamin K level thus reduces the risk of arteriosclerosis (and thus, of course, heart attacks and strokes) as well as the risk of kidney stones.
Bones need vitamin K
In addition to calcium and vitamin D, the bones also need vitamin K to remain healthy and strong. Vitamin K not only provides the bones and teeth with the required calcium from the blood, but also activates a protein that is involved in bone formation. Only under the effect of vitamin K can this protein called osteocalcin calcium bind at all and incorporate into the bone.
Vitamin K against cancer
Also in relation to cancer, a healthy diet can strengthen our defenses. Our body is continually exposed to the attacks of malignant cancer cells, which are recognized and rendered harmless by the immune system. As long as we are healthy, we do not get anything from it.
But a sugary food based on industrial food and regular contact with household poisons weaken our natural defenses and allow the cancer to spread.
Looking at the following studies, vitamin K2 seems to be a very important part for the cancer defense.
Daily requirement of vitamin K
The German dietary society foresees that women should consume at least 65μg and men about 80μg of vitamin K daily. It is, however, to be assumed that these data represent the absolute minimum for maintaining blood clotting and, in fact, vitamin K, as is known to have other tasks, that is, not only blood clotting, requires much higher amounts of vitamin K. This assumption is also confirmed by the fact that natural vitamin K is not toxic even in large quantities. But how do you best meet your day’s vitamin K requirements?
Food with lots of vitamin K
- Green leaf vegetables: The demand for vitamin K1 can be ensured, for example, by the consumption of a lot of green leafy vegetables such as spinach, leaf salad or portulak. Green leaf vegetables, however, contain not only large amounts of vitamin K1, but of course also many other health-promoting substances such as, for example, chlorophyll.
- Beet leaves: Most people do not even know that the leaves of the red beet are also considered as green leafy vegetables. They contain far more mineral and nutrients than the tuber. In the leaves of the beetroot, even 2000 times more vitamin K is found than in the tuber – a true source of vitality!
- Cabbage: Green cabbage contains the most vitamin K1 of all vegetables. But also other cabbages such as broccoli, cauliflower, rosé cabbage or white cabbage contain a lot of vitamin K1. White cabbage also provides vitamin K2, when it is consumed in the form of sauerkraut, because of its content of microorganisms. White cabbage also contains large quantities of other healthy micronutrients, which is why it is even used medically.
- Parsley: Also herbs such as parsley and chives contain a lot of vitamin K. In parsley is a whole range of important vitamins to be found, so that it competes with some food supplements.
- Avocado: The avocado not only contains interesting amounts of vitamin K, but also provides valuable fats necessary for the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamin. In the presence of the avocado, many other fat-soluble substances such as vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, alpha and beta carotene, lutein, lycopene, zeaxanthin or calcium are also absorbed better.
Vitamin K2 for vegans
If your vitamin K2 is not derived from animal sources, but from microbial sources, then the vitamin you have chosen should contain vitamin K2 in the form of microbial menaquinone-7. The animal vitamin K2, on the other hand, is the menaquinone-4.
You see, an all around good supply of bones, teeth and blood vessels is not really difficult. So – stay healthy!