What is vitamin K?
So what is vitamin K good for and where does it come from? Well for starters, there is a link between vitamin K and diabetes. It’s not a vitamin you always hear a lot about and may seem to be neglected, but like any other vitamin, it’s important for your body and your blood glucose. Vitamin K is not just one substance but it’s a group of related substances. And it’s good news for diabetics.
There are actually two types and the first type of vitamin K which is also referred to as vitamin K1, is produced by plants and is known as “phylloquinones.” Just about all of the vitamin K that you get comes from these plants. The second type of vitamin K which is also known as vitamin K2, is produced by bacteria. But let’s concentrate on the plants seeing as that they are the majority of our source of vitamin K. Throughout my article I will be referring to vitamin K just as “K” sometimes so you know.
Vitamin K and its role
K’s role is to balance the ability of blood clotting in your body. By being able to provide this blood clotting when you experience any injury, your body is then able to prevent excess bleeding. So it keeps the clotting under control assures that there will not be any injury that prevents a blood clot from the blocking of a blood vessel.
The other roles that “K” are involved in, and these are very crucial for your health, are working to help protect your heart by preventing the calcium build up in your arteries and supporting the health of your bones too. You don’t want a vitamin K deficiency because it puts you at much greater risk for hardening of your arteries. So keep up your “K” intake.
It is crucial that you speak to your physician about vitamin K. The main reason for this is that because it does have an effect on blood clotting, it may clash with certain blood thinning medications that you may be currently taking such as: aspirin, xarelto, warfarin, and plavix.
There may be the possibilities for drugs interfering such as drugs used to prevent blockages after a stent has been inserted, prevention of a heart attack, and a stroke. Your doctor will know what medications will interact with vitamin K. Let them guide you and prescribe what you should and shouldn’t take. It’s always better to be safe than sorry I always say.
Vitamin K and diabetes
If you are one of the fortunate people to be getting enough vitamin K, then you’re lessening your risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those folks who don’t get enough. It’s rather frightening to think that approximately 10% of Adults in the United States have type 2 diabetes. It’s time to get those numbers down and fast! Vitamin K can help with that.
The biggest risks for type 2 diabetes are obesity, older age, having a a family history of type 2 diabetes, and your race. Hispanic, Native Americans, and blacks are more at risk than white people are.
Foods that are rich in vitamin K
Kale is about the top food for vitamin K. It is without a doubt a superfood! It also contains and is very rich in potassium, folate, calcium, along with other minerals and vitamins. It actually has even more nutritional value than spinach. Kale may decrease blood pressure, lower your risk of cancer, help to prevent the development of asthma, and controlling your blood sugar levels. Kale is an anti-diabetic food. Get that blood sugar down!
Spinach is my favorite vegetable! It is extremely healthy and while spinach is loaded with vitamin K, it also contains vitamins B, E, and A along with folate, magnesium, and iron. Raw spinach has only one third of vitamin K as cooked spinach has, but you don’t need that much anyway. You don’t want to overdo it. Popeye must have known this!
Brussels sprouts are a member of the cabbage family. They are packed with vitamin K and vitamin C. They are also high in antioxidants which aid in the prevention of damage of the cells in your body.
Brussels sprouts help to support your bone and the health of your blood, and your immune system. In addition to vitamins K and C, they also contain minerals, fiber, and other vitamins. Eating them on a regular basis may also help to prevent some cancers. This alone makes eating Brussels sprouts with vitamin K worth it.
Lettuce is most likely the best known and popular in the American diets as a source of vitamin K. While you can obviously purchase lettuce at grocery stores, it’s available in restaurants and in salad bars, it’s always the center of attention, so to speak. While romaine has more nutrition than iceberg lettuce, romaine does have more “K” too. I always choose romaine over iceberg lettuce.
Broccoli is another vegetable in the cabbage family and you can eat it by various methods such as steaming, cooking, or eating raw. It is very rich on minerals and nutrients and contains a high amount of vitamin K. You just want to be careful about levels of high “K” if you are on blood thinners such as warfarin.
You want to talk about vitamin K? Parsley has over 500% of the daily recommended dosage. It also may prevent Alzheimer’s disease and aid in promoting bone strength. It also is high in vitamin C and vitamin A which can help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts.
Mustard greens are excellent sources of minerals, nutrients, and vitamins. They contain potassium, calcium, selenium, proteins, folates, magnesium, maganese, and iron. Mustard greens are rich in vitamins A,C, and K. Vitamin K again promotes bone health and works to limit any damage to the brain.
Collard greens happen to be low in calories and provide high amounts of minerals and vitamins for your body. They are high in vitamin K and vitamin A. It contains over 1000% of your daily requirement of “K” and over 300% of vitamin A.
Collard greens also provide 50% of vitamin C, twenty seven percent of calcium, forty percent of manganese, and forty percent of folate. They actually help to lower your cholesterol and better than any other cruciferous vegetable including broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts.
The benefits of vitamin K
Vitamin K1 and K2 ( is important with preventing bone loss. And that means fighting osteoporosis because that is your bone density being reduced. It generally occurs in many women who are past menopause and are over the age of fifty. Unfortunately, it will advance without knowing for years.
At some point a deformity of the spine appears from the bone loss and you can also experience pain and fractures as well. The most important thing to do whether you’re a man or a woman to avoid osteoporosis is to make sure that you do get the right amounts of “K.”
All of the foods mentioned previously, spinach, broccoli, lettuce, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts can help you keep up with the vitamin K that you need.
Vitamin K will decrease the chance of bleeding from any poor absorption of nutrients, jaundice, complications from a mixture of aspirin and antibiotics, and bleeding in the liver.
If your level of vitamin K is constantly low, then you have a higher chance of contracting gastro diseases such as: Crohn’s disease, obstructions, and colitis.
Your immune system is the lifeblood of your body. It protects you against disease and foreign invaders and if your immune system isn’t strong, then neither are you. It’s that simple. Vitamin K as well as other vitamins help to boost and protect your immune system.
So make sure that you do get and have checked you “K” levels. The foods I mentioned previously and also coco-biotic and milk kefir are two additional foods that can help you achieve your need levels.
There is definitely a connection between a lower risk of heart disease and a higher consumption of vitamin K2. Heart disease can be aided when calcium cannot be formed in your arteries and vitamin K2 is responsible for blocking this calcium.
Folks who have the highest intake of this vitamin have the lowest risk for heart disease. You may want to take a multi-vitamin with a K2 amount of 70-90 mcg which should be sufficient as long as your bone density levels are normal. But check with your doctor for the right amounts to be certain.
Your brain uses vitamin K and K2 is the principal form that it uses. It’s been studied that Alzheimer’s patients have consumed much less vitamin K2 than those who consumed higher amounts.
Risk of dying
A study done in Mediterranean people at higher cardiovascular disease levels found that an increase in “K” is associated with less of a risk of death from all causes.
A study done in young men for four weeks with vitamin K2 resulted in increased insulin sensitivity.
Vitamin K is important and vital for our oral health. It is very beneficial for the prevention of cavities and crucial for the remineralization of your teeth.
Anti-aging and the health of your skin
Vitamin K2 is helpful for aging and the health of your skin. It aids in the calcification of your veins, soft tissue, and your arteries. It will prevent excess calcium in the elastin of your skin and thus preventing wrinkles and helping to keep your skin elastic.
There has been some research done to find that vitamin K may help in fighting a reappearance of cancer of the liver and a decrease in the risk of prostate cancer. Keep up your “K” levels anyway.
Women who are pregnant and often suffering from nausea and vomiting can often be deficient in vitamin K. Once you get it into your system it should help in a short period of time.(up to 72 hours or less). It will also help in taking K for milder symptoms the next time or times.
The connection between vitamin D and vitamin K
While vitamin D is about one of the most important vitamins for you, for it to function properly, it requires enough amounts of “K” to aid in carrying this out. These two powerhouse vitamins work well together to help make your bones stronger and help them develop health wise.
While vitamin K is not talked about as much as many of the other vitamins, it’s extremely important for your health and you want to remember the connection between vitamin K and diabetes. I believe that knowledge is power and that the more we know about our health, the better off we are. My goal here was to help you understand more about vitamin K but also to present any connections with diabetes and lowering your blood sugar as well.
While vitamin K may help with blood glucose levels, it may not lower yours enough and it might require something that will help you more. This is what can help you the best!
If you have any questions or would like to leave any comments, please feel free to do so below. I would appreciate it. Thank you for reading! Happy and healthy!