The Health Boosting Benefits of Vitamin K
The role of Vitamin K in helping the blood clot normally has been well established. Now, there is mounting evidence that Vitamin K is also crucial in improving bone health with studies showing that not only does Vitamin K increase bone mineral density in people with osteoporosis, it also reduces the number of fractures associated with osteoporosis, including hip fractures.
The Nurses' Health Study followed more than 72,000 women for 10 years and found that women with the lowest amounts of Vitamin K had a 30 percent higher risk of hip fracture than women with higher amounts of the nutrient. Vitamin K has also been linked with cardiovascular benefits by preventing calcium calcification in the heart and arteries, which can lead to arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
Maintaining sufficient amounts of Vitamin K are also said to:
- improve excessive menstrual flow and menstrual pain,
- boost the immune system,
- and even help minimize the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Signs you may be Vitamin K deficient include:
- bruising easily,
- bloody noses
- and more than normal bleeding from small cuts.
However, Vitamin K can interact with drugs, such as the blood thinner Coumadin, rendering it less effective. And the benefits of taking dietary supplements to protect against major diseases in healthy people who adhere to a nutritional diet are difficult to prove.
The current average daily allowance for Vitamin K is 120 micrograms (mcg) for adult men and 90 mcg for adult women, which you can easily get through the foods you eat. Before upping your Vitamin K intake with supplements, be sure to check with your doctor.
Vitamin K-Rich Foods
Eating a well-balanced diet should provide all the Vitamin K you need to stay healthy. These foods top the list:
- Dark, leafy greens: kale, broccoli, spinach, Swiss chard, cabbage and watercress. Avocados are also high in Vitamin K. To reap the most benefit from these greens, don't overcook them.
- Fruits: Kiwi and plums
- Spices and herbs: Both the fresh and dried versions of these spices and herbs are packed with Vitamin K: basil, sage, thyme, parsley, coriander, marjoram, oregano, and amaranth leaves.
- Nuts and seeds: In addition to being rich in Vitamin K, these nuts and seeds also contain heart healthy unsaturated fats, which can lower cholesterol levels: cashews, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and hazelnuts.
- Oil: Olive, soybean and canola oil are all good sources of Vitamin K.
Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. "Vitamin K." Web.
On the Horizon: Advances in the Field of Parkinson's
A Simple Guide to Carb Counting for People With Diabetes
An Extensive Guide to the Flu Vaccine: What You Need to Know
Could Supplements Reduce Your Risk of Alzheimer's?
5 Habits to Help You Get (and Stay) Organized
Sign Up for Free Newsletters
Ask Your Doctor the RIGHT Questions!
the most from your doctor visit.
Emailed right to you!
The Ask Your Doctor email series
may contain sponsored content.
18+, US residents only please.
Explore Original Articles About...
Get the MOST from QualityHealth
- Top Searches
- 1. Arthritis Management: Nature Heals
- 2. 5 Digestive To-Dos
- 3. Men: Should You Shave It or Leave It?
- 4. Today's Top Fitness Trends
- 5. Sugar and Osteoarthritis : The Link
- 6. Can't Afford Your Hospital Bills?
- 7. Stay Energized All Day Long
- 8. Phobias: Who Has Them and Why?
- 9. What If Your EpiPen Fails?
- 10. 5 Costly Medical Billing Mistakes
- 1. Hotter Temperatures Linked To Kidney Stones
- 2. Summer Bug Bites: What to Look For
- 3. Skin Health Advice with Dr. Kenneth Beer
- 4. Summer Safety Tips That Every Parent Needs To Know
- 5. Sugar and Your Immunity System
- 6. Do Weight Loss Supplements Work?
- 7. 5 Super Foods for Spring
- 8. The Hazards of Reusable Bags
- 9. How to Avoid Ingrown Hairs
- 10. Health Tip: Constantly Change Shoes
- 1. 4 Common Treatments for Epilepsy
- 2. What Does a Urogynecologist Do?
- 3. GERD Without Heartburn? It's Possible
- 4. Graston Technique: Can It Work on You?
- 5. Music Therapy Can Help Autism
- 6. 8 Ways to Fight MS-Related Fatigue
- 7. Can You Still Bleed After Menopause?
- 8. Be Your Own Health Care Advocate
- 9. Why Is Syphillis on the Rise?
- 10. Ideal Weight vs. Happy Weight
The material on the QualityHealth Web site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a physician or other qualified health provider. See additional information.