Vitamin K Foods, Foods with Vitamin K, Benefits of Vitamin K

Looking for vitamin K foods? Here’s a list of foods with vitamin K.

Vitamin K Foods – Foods With Vitamin K From Plant Sources

Here are examples of where to find plant vitamin K foods:

  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Swiss chard
  • Kale
  • Parsley
  • Spinach
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Watercress
  • Lettuce
  • Endive
  • Spring onions
  • Cabbage
  • Alfalfa
  • Asparagus
  • Cauliflower

Vitamin K Foods – Foods With Vitamin K From Animal Sources

Generally low in vitamin K, here are examples of where to find animal foods containing vitamin K:

Animal foods with vitamin K

  • Cheese
  • Liver (especially fish liver)
  • Bacon
  • Egg yolk
  • Mayonnaise

Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin the majority of which is manufactured in the intestines by ‘friendly bacteria’ which can be obtained from milk cultures like yogurt.

There are two natural forms of this vitamin, one called K1 (phylloquinone or phytonadione) which is found in plants, and the other known as K2 (menaquinone) produced by bacteria. There is also a third form called K3 (menadione), the synthetic form of the K vitamin.

Function of Vitamin K

One function of vitamin K, being the precursor to thrombrin, is that it is central to the formation of prothrombin. It is also important for the synthesis of the bone tissue protein, osteocalcin. It assists the conversion of excess glucose to glycogen for storing in the liver.

Benefits of Vitamin K

Thrombrin production, aided by vitamin K, is a vital factor for proper blood clotting. Benefits of vitamin K include helping to prevent hemorrhages and internal bleeding. Another benefit of vitamin K is that it promotes the formation of osteocalcin the bone tissue protein onto which calcium crystallizes forming new bone. It is therefore vital for maintaining healthy bones.

The benefits of vitamin K in it’s role in converting glucose to glycogen in the liver promotes healthy liver function. Vitamin K supplements have been shown to help prevent cancer by inhibiting cancer cell growth.

Vitamin K Deficiency

Factors that may increase vitamin K deficiency include eating too much frozen foods or sugary foods, aspirin, antibiotics and air pollution. Deficiency of vitamin K can lead to nosebleeds, internal hemorrhages, celiac disease, and colitis.

Vitamin K deficiency may increase the risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis because without the benefit of vitamin K, calcium passes straight through the body and out in the urine.

Recommended Vitamin K Dosage

Recommended daily allowance (minimum daily dose to ward off serious deficiency) RDA of vitamin K dosage for men is 80mcg and 65mcg for women, although well over 100mcg is now thought to be a preferrable dosage. Unless you’re a leafy green vegetable addict, you can’t take in excessive amounts of vitamin K through your daily diet.

However, according to some researchers, these current RDA figures for vitamin K may far from adequate to maximize its function in the body. But over-supplementation with the synthetic form K3 (menadione) can lead to sweating, flushing, anemia, and jaundice. Vitamin K supplements should not generally be taken if you’re also taking anti-coagulant medicine such as Coumadin.

Coumadin and Vitamin K

Coumadin and vitamin K have a direct relationship. Therefore, if you are taking Coumadin you need to be mindful of your diet to ensure that you maintain a consistent level of vitamin K intake. Your doctor should advise you of any dietary requirements particular to you when discussing Coumadin and vitamin K. Vitamin K supplements are most likely going to be off limits when on a Coumadin therapy program.

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