What is Vitamin K?
Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin vital for proper functioning of the body. There are two naturally occurring types of vitamin K, vitamin K1 and vitamin K2. Vitamin K1 is a natural form of vitamin K and it is commonly found in vegetables and plants. Vitamin K2 is synthesized by the bacteria in the intestinal tract and can be found in the colon. There is also a synthetic, water soluble form of vitamin K known as vitamin K3 and it is much more potent than natural forms of vitamins K.
The body absorbs vitamin K with the help of bile acids and it doesn’t store large amounts of this vitamin but it is eliminated from the body via urine. However, we can provide sufficient amounts of vitamin K from some foods. Vitamin K is found in vegetables such as cauliflower, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, tomato, soybean, lentils and asparagus. Other sources of vitamin K include whole grain cereals, olive oil, kelp, egg yolk and cows milk. Foods that are less concentrated with water are richer in vitamin K because it is fat soluble vitamin; therefore, tomato paste has more vitamin K than fresh tomato.
Benefits of Vitamin K
There are number of benefits of vitamin K. It is commonly known that this vitamin aids in blood clotting. In case of an injury, vitamin K promotes healing of wounds by slowing and stopping the bleeding. When there is a deficiency of vitamin K, the body may excessively bleed because of inadequate clotting of blood. However, too much blood clotting prevents normal blood flow in the body and vitamin K is equally beneficial in such case because it maintains proper blood clotting level.
Vitamin K also helps the body to absorb mineral calcium and this way benefits to healthy bones. Vitamin K promotes bone density and prevents osteoporosis which may result in thin and weak bones. Individuals with osteoporosis have low levels of vitamin K in their bodies hence if you have family history of the condition you must maintain sufficient levels of this vitamin.
Vitamin K is beneficial in preventing cardiovascular diseases because it prevents hardening of the arteries.
Vitamin K regulates level of calcium in the body organs and may prevent calcification of pineal gland, kidney stones, and Alzheimer’s disease which features abnormal calcium metabolism in the brain of affected person.
Vitamin K may prevent autoimmune disorders such as thyroid disease, lupus and arthritis. Vitamin K is anti aging agent and may slow down the process of aging.