Vitamin K, also known as Vitamin K2, is the second most significant vitamin discovered so far. It is also an antioxidant that plays a fundamental role in many health problems. It is present in higher concentrations in some common vegetables like broccoli and spinach and fruits such as oranges and grapefruits. Vitamin K deficiency can occur due to various reasons, but the most common factor is insufficient consumption of vitamin K rich foods. In this article I will share my experience in which I share the benefits of Vitamin K intake and how to use it to benefit your health.
I am not sure if vitamin K deficiency is widespread nowadays because only my wife has been suffering from deficiency symptoms for the last few months. My wife is a healthy woman who regularly takes her vitamin K supplements every day. I was surprised to discover that she was not getting the benefits I thought she was getting from her supplements.
She explained to me that the deficiency symptoms she was showing me were primarily calcium loss and osteoporosis. Both of these are common in elderly women, and they occur due to a decrease in the ability of the body to absorb calcium. Vitamin K plays a fundamental role in bone formation and maintenance, so reduced levels of vitamin K in the body mean decreased ability to maintain strong bones. The symptoms of vitamin K deficiency include joint pain and weakness, weak bones, fragile bones, soft or brittle hair, and frequent falls.
Fortunately, there are dietary supplements that corrects vitamin k deficiency. We took Vitamin K supplements every day for the past year and noticed very significant improvements in my wife’s osteoporosis symptoms. She still gets bone fragility fractures, but the number of fractures she experiences are much less than what she used to get. This makes it seem as though the Vitamin K supplements were the determining factor behind her problem.
Deficiency symptoms can also lead to other problems like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Vitamin K helps to produce prothrombin, a compound that helps the body produce prothrombin in response to injury. Prothrombin helps to strengthen the arteries and decrease blood clotting, both of which are protective of the heart and artery systems.
Several studies have shown that vitamin k-2, also present in certain plant foods such as leafy greens, is beneficial in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, especially in people at high risk for atherosclerosis. The latest studies show that the phylloquinone found in l-carnitine is even more effective at reducing LDL cholesterol levels. The results from one study showed that patients who had high blood cholesterol levels at the beginning of the study, but who were given daily doses of vitamin k-2-rich dietary supplements, showed a significant reduction in their LDL cholesterol levels. In another study participants with at least three times the Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamin k had significant improvements in their total blood triglycerides and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels.
Aside from vitamin k, several other plants have been shown to have positive effects on blood lipid levels. The beta carotene in carrots, squash, and prunes help to reduce LDL cholesterol levels. The beta carotene found in grapefruits and cantaloupe, as well as olive oil, appears to be beneficial for reducing fats in the blood, as it is believed to enhance the body’s ability to burn fat. Other foods that appear to increase HDL cholesterol levels are rice bran, berries, oats, and avocados. One of the main ingredients in non-hydrogenated hydrogenated soybean products, called tofu, has been shown to improve cardiovascular health.
While there is not enough evidence to suggest a link between an insufficient intake of vitamin K or supplementation and the development of coronary artery disease, those who have a genetic predisposition to develop coronary artery disease should consider including a vitamin K supplement in their diet. Those with a high risk for developing coronary artery disease should first talk to their doctor and then discuss a daily vitamin K supplement. Supplements that contain high levels of vitamin K are readily available in most health food stores. However, there are also products that contain only a trace amount of vitamin K that may prove to be helpful, particularly if a patient suffers from a deficiency of vitamin K.