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Why Do We Need Vitamin K?

So lets start off with a bit of science - vitamin K is what is known as a “coagulation vitamin”. This essentially means that it helps the body to form blood clots and prevent abnormal bleeding. Further to the discovery of vitamin K in 1935 however, scientists have found that this vitamin plays a hugely important role in the general health of our bodies and in the prevention of various life limiting diseases.

  • Prevention of Atherosclerosis: Atherosclerosis is a condition whereby the artery walls build up a deposit of calcium, which in turn can restrict the flow of blood to key organs. Vitamin K promotes the production of a powerful protein (called matrix Gla protein) that can inhibit the build up of this calcium.  In turn, this can help to really alleviate the symptoms of what can be a seriously dangerous condition, which can ultimately lead to a heart attack or stroke. The body is simply unable to produce this protein without the presence of vitamin K.
  • Prevention of Osteoporosis: Once again, the proteins that are stimulated by the presence of vitamin K are vital for the building and maintaining of healthy bones. Those affected by osteoporosis due to old age, poor nutrition, menopause or eating disorders are strongly advised to supplement their diet with vitamin K. Extensive studies have shown that this helps to improve bone mineral content and helps to prevent the leaching of vital calcium from the bones.
  • Extensive benefits for those with Diabetes: Studies have shown that those with diabetes have a lesser bone mineral content and are much more likely to suffer from bone fractures etc. Due to the proteins mentioned above, vitamin K can help in much the same way. In addition, diabetics often see an increased sensitivity to insulin when they take vitamin K, while post meal glucose levels tend to be lower. And finally, for those who do not have diabetes, a quantity of vitamins K1 & K2 can significantly reduce your risk of developing the disease.
So where can we source vitamin K? The best natural source of vitamin K is from the good old green leafy vegetables. Parsley, bok choi, spinach, broccoli and asparagus and pulses like peas & lentils all provide a fantastic source of vitamin K1. The body being the insanely clever thing that it is, can then create vitamin K2 from vitamin K1. Further good news is that vitamin K is incredibly resilient and can withstand freezing and cooking too. Should I take vitamin K supplements? There has been clear evidence during recent research that vitamin K can aid longevity and by supplementing the diet, you are greatly going to reduce the risk of the leading causes of death - namely atherosclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer's. Within these studies, increasing the intake of vitamin K through supplementation as well as diet has been the cause for notable improvements. While if your diet does not consist of a high quantity of the pulses and vegetables mentioned above then supplements are key. Where can I source vitamin K supplements? Always try and source a plant based vitamin K supplement. After all, plants are where we find the highest quantities of the vitamin in nature. We have a couple of really fantastic options in the supplement section of our online SHOP. And finally, for a some vitamin K rich ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner, here are a couple of suggestions from our Recipe Index or try these delicious alkaline options below. CS_fritters_06-600x840 Peach Smoothie


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An answer from an expert! Thanks for cobguinrtint.

Apr 23, 2016

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