You’ve always heard about how vitamin A helps with your eyes, vitamin C helps with your immune system, and the B vitamins help with metabolism… But what about vitamin K? Not a lot of people are aware of what vitamin K can do for our bodies.
While you can sometimes find them in supplement form from brands like Thorne Research in Supplement First, you can also find them in healthy foods, too. Let’s take a look at the wonders of vitamin K and how much of it you will need.
What is Vitamin K?
Vitamin K plays a crucial role in helping blood clot, thus preventing excessive bleeding. Our body also needs this for bone building and other crucial bodily processes. There has been some research on how vitamin K can help with athletic performance, osteoporosis, breast cancer, diabetes, and other conditions, but there is still not enough scientific data on it.
This nutrient is actually a group of compounds, with the most important ones being vitamins K1 and K2.
Vitamin K1 comes from leafy greens and other vegetables, while vitamin K2 is a group of compounds you obtain from meats, eggs, and cheeses.
Why People Take Vitamin K
If one is deficient in vitamin K, it may increase the risk of uncontrolled bleeding. Fortunately, it’s rare for adults to have vitamin K deficiencies. However, they are more common in newborn infants, which is why it’s standard for newborns to have a single injection of vitamin K.
Again, vitamin K deficiencies are uncommon, but people are at higher risk if they:
- Have a disease affecting absorption in the digestive tract, like active celiac disease or Crohn’s disease.
- Take drugs interfering with vitamin K absorption
- Are malnourished
- Drink alcohol very heavily
If one falls under any of these categories, then their healthcare provider will likely suggest taking vitamin K supplements.
Vitamin K is also used for counteracting an overdosage of Coumadin, a blood thinner. Some have claimed that vitamin K can help with cancer, relieve morning sickness, and remove spider veins. But all of these are still unproven.
How Much Vitamin K Do You Need?
Most people would get enough vitamin K in their diets, but some may still be at risk. Here is the recommended daily amount of vitamin K one needs based on age:
- 0-6 months: 2 mcg
- 7-12 months: 2.5 mcg
- 1-3 years old: 30 mcg
- 4-8 years old: 55 mcg
- 9-13 years old: 60 mcg
- 14-18 years old: 75 mcg
- Women 19 years old and above: 90 mcg
- Men 19 years old and above: 120 mcg
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding under 19 years old: 75 mcg
Surprisingly, you don’t usually find vitamin K in supplement form. However, as mentioned, some brands carry products containing the nutrient from stores like Supplement First. The main form of supplement is vitamin K1. You can also get vitamin K from foods like liver, eggs, strawberries, legumes, and green vegetables.
Wrapping It Up
Make sure you speak with your healthcare provider regarding your vitamin K intake!