Oh, (Vitamin) K

Vitamin K is a very important fat-soluble vitamin that controls blood clotting and promotes heart health, strong bones and a healthy immune system. People with sufficient Vitamin K levels are associated with lower inflammation, and as you may know, inflammation is an indicator of disease.

There are 3 main K vitamins and they act differently in the body:

  1. Vitamin K1 is found in greens and is processed in the liver for proper blood clotting.
  2. Vitamin K2 is a more absorbable and is found in fermented foods and is necessary for a critical bone-building protein called osteocalcin, which is converted into a necessary protein that helps maintain bone tissue. Along with Vitamin D3, K2 plays an essential role in calcium building in bone tissue. It’s also essential for promoting heart health and the regulation of cell growth and maintenance of the arterial wall.
  3. Vitamin K3 is a synthetic form of Vitamin K that is injected into pregnant women and in infants at birth.

Vitamin K2 and vitamin D3 work together to increase protein called Matrix GLA (MGP).  It protects blood vessels from calcification and at the same time helps you absorb calcium in your bones, utilizing magnesium to make sure it gets there efficiently. It’s also important for protecting the brain against Alzheimer’s and other diseases. Vitamin K also helps stop excess calcium in the elastin in the skin, preventing wrinkles and other skin conditions.

Food Sources of Vitamin K are:

  • Asparagus
  • Basil
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Chicken
  • Chicken livers
  • Cucumbers
  • Egg Yolks
  • Grass fed Beef
  • Grass fed butter
  • Grass fed cheese
  • Green Tea
  • Kale
  • Natto
  • Parsley
  • Prunes
  • Scallions
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Yogurt

You are more likely to have vitamin K deficiency if you suffer from gut issues like leaky gut syndrome, SIBO or have problems absorbing dietary vitamins. If you eat a balanced diet that includes the foods listed you should get enough vitamin K, and do not need supplementation, but if you do, a combination of probiotics and vitamins can be used to make it all OK again.

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