When it comes to vitamins and their health benefits, it’s easy to get all the information mixed up.
There are so many different vitamins and benefits. Vitamin C is often presented as the hero of the immune system and Vitamin E as one that contributes to beautiful skin.
But there are other, perhaps unknown, benefactors, such as vitamin K.
We walk you through all the advantages, shortcomings, tips and other information.
What is Vitamin K?
Vitamin K is found in various foods and can also be obtained through supplements. Vitamin K can be divided into vitamins K1 (phylloquinone) and K2 (menaquinone). Vitamin K2 is naturally produced by bacterias in the intestine.
Benefits of Vitamin K
An important function of vitamin K is that it aids in the clotting processes of the blood.
Less well known is that it also helps to keep the artery wall , facial cartilage and other soft tissues elastic.
A third lesser-known benefit is that the vitamin keeps bone tissue healthy.
What are the sources of vitamin K?
The best way to get more vitamin K is through food.
The following foods contain a relatively high amount of vitamin K1:
- Kale: 817 micrograms per 100 grams
- Spinach: 387 micrograms per 100 grams
- Broccoli: 156 micrograms per 100 grams
- Margarine: 93.2 micrograms per 100 grams
The following foods contain vitamin K2:
- Dairy products
- egg yolk
- Meat, fish and eggs
Some other sources of vitamin K are
- Green leafy vegetables such as parsley and iceberg lettuce
- Vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus and pumpkin
- pine nuts
In addition, vitamin K is naturally produced by bacteria in the gut .
Vitamin K deficiency
The main causes of a vitamin K deficiency are: disturbed fat absorption in the intestines (for example, due to intestinal surgery), use of antibiotics , serious liver disorders and a one-sided diet.
This is how you notice a shortage.
Deficiency manifests itself in frequent bruising or nosebleeds , heavy menstruation and blood in the urine or stools . In other words: a higher chance of bleeding, both internally and externally.
A vitamin K deficiency is quite unusual in (healthy) adults. It usually only occurs in certain disorders and conditions that seriously disrupt the functioning of the liver and intestine.
Blood clotting test
If you suspect that you have a vitamin K deficiency, your doctor can test this with a blood clotting test. Did you know that your blood normally clots after 11 to 13.5 seconds? With a severe vitamin K deficiency, your blood continues for longer.
See, then you know. Where we mainly talk about vitamins B , C and D , this outsider among the vitamins also turns out to be very important. You know what you have to do: eat leafy vegetables and pumpkins it is .
In severe deficiency, blood clotting is disrupted. There is a risk of prolonged bleeding. A deficiency can arise for various reasons.
Vitamin K Supplements
It is also possible to get vitamin K through a supplement.
More research is needed to say whether it is smart to take vitamin K preventively. It is also unknown whether an excess of vitamin K can be harmful.
The Nutrition Center therefore does not recommend taking extra vitamin K. Normally you get enough with a healthy diet. If you opt for a supplement, keep in mind a maximum daily amount of 70 micrograms per day. This is 100 percent of the general daily allowance (RDA) for adults.
When it was announced a few weeks ago that resveratrol would help against corona, the drug was sold out everywhere in no time. There is a good chance that there will now also be a ‘run’ on vitamin K supplements.
At the moment, the supplement can still be ordered from stock at some online drugstores.
Pay attention !
People who use anticoagulants or blood thinners from the Thrombosis Service should be extra alert. They should not take a vitamin K supplement.Vitamin K can reduce the effect of medicines. Therefore, if in doubt, consult your doctor or dietician.