What is the importance of vitamin K in the body?
- It is a component of the blood clotting process
- It helps combat blood thinner overdose
- It supports your bone health
- It might affect cognitive health
- It may help prevent heart disease
- It prevents deficiency symptoms
As an arguably less popular micronutrient when it comes to health supplements, not many people know the importance of vitamin K. An adequate intake of 120 micrograms is recommended for men while women need 90 mcg daily, making it a vital part of your diet. Fortunately, this vitamin is included in nutritional food such as barley grass! Keep on reading to learn more.
It Is a Component of the Blood Clotting Process
If you ever had an open wound, you probably noticed that the bleeding doesn’t last forever. This is thanks to the process known as blood clotting. Your body reacts quickly to the injury, rallying all the factors that need to stop blood from gushing out. Aside from lessening the bleeding, this also speeds up the healing.
In 1929, Henrik Dam discovered the role of Vitamin K in blood coagulation. This micronutrient is responsible for producing 4 out of the 13 proteins that form the blood clot. Together with vitamin C, it also prevents excessive clotting. Without adequate amounts of Vitamin K, you can experience bleeding problems.
It Helps Combat Blood Thinner Overdose
If you recently had surgery, your doctor may have prescribed you an anticoagulant to prevent the development of blood clots. This is because bed rest may make it harder for your blood to flow freely, causing this condition. If this happens, you can experience symptoms such as difficulty breathing, nausea, weakness, and vision problems.
During your recuperation period, your doctor will strongly advise against increasing your vitamin K intake, which can affect the medication’s effectiveness. He will closely monitor your anticoagulant intake, ensuring the risks of internal bleeding are reduced. In case of overdose, administration of vitamin K can reverse the negative effects of this drug.
It Supports Your Bone Health
When it comes to bone health, the nutrients that often come to mind are calcium and vitamin D. But did you know that vitamin K also has a huge part in maintaining bone strength? It produces proteins such as osteocalcin to prevent them from becoming fragile.
This might be the reason why a study found a correlation between low vitamin K intake and increased risk of hip fracture in women. Over 72,000 women are followed up after 10 years, where multiple reports of injury caused by low and moderate trauma were received. Lettuce was the contributing factor to increased vitamin K consumption in women with lower risk.
It Might Affect Cognitive Health
There is a growing interest to explain the connection between vitamin K and cognitive health, although research is limited. A small study conducted on 31 community-dwelling elders found that individuals in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease have a low vitamin K intake. A type of dementia, this progressive condition affects a person’s thinking, memory, and behavior, and often occurs in older adults.
Aside from elders with Alzheimer’s disease, researchers are also interested in the effect of vitamin K in healthy seniors. One study associated higher vitamin K levels in those with better verbal episodic memory performances among 320 men and women. This suggests that this often ‘forgotten’ nutrient might have an important role in cognitive function.
It May Help Prevent Heart Disease
If you frequently have bacon and white bread for breakfast, then it might be wise to rethink your meal plans. Aside from age, genetics, and physical activity, your diet also plays a part in increasing your risk of coronary heart disease. Consuming high amounts of refined carbs, saturated fats, and trans fats can lead to plaque buildup—which can cause a stroke.
Aside from these factors, a phenomenon called vascular calcification is also a component that increases your risk. This occurs when mineral deposits stick to your plaque, causing an obstruction in blood flow. That’s why the Matrix Gla-protein (MGP) relies on vitamin K in preventing this situation. Although further studies are called for, research shows that supplementation of vitamin K helped slow down the progress of coronary artery calcification with healthy individuals with this condition.
It Prevents Deficiency Symptoms
It is possible to develop vitamin K deficiency if you are currently taking anticoagulants and antibiotic medications. The latter can prevent your body from producing this nutrient or make it ineffective. Aside from that, vitamin K is fat-soluble, making those with medical conditions that inhibit fat absorption prone to deficiency.
Telltale signs of vitamin K deficiency include the following:
- Excessive bleeding
- Blood clots under nails
- Dark stools
Are you consuming enough amounts of Vitamin K? While your body naturally creates vitamin K2 (menaquinone) in your gut, vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) can be sourced from plants, just like barley grass! While deficiency is rare, it is treatable through oral medication or injection.
While this nutrient is commonly known as a vital part of the blood clotting process, the importance of vitamin K doesn’t end there. Aside from being utilized as a treatment for blood thinner overdose, it also supports stronger bones, a sharper mind, and a healthier heart.
To get your boost of vitamin K and more, you can’t go wrong with adding Santé Barley™ to your diet. Because of its nutritional value, you can reach your daily adequate intake by having this healthy drink in your pantry. It is helpful if you want to prevent symptoms of deficiency while reaping the many health benefits of this valuable nutrient.
Aside from that, barley grass is also full of fiber and antioxidants you need to help you live life to the fullest. If you’re interested, you can click here to shop. Otherwise, you may reach out to a Santé Business Owner near you!