vitamin K

Functions
  • Aids in the formation of clotting factors and bone proteins; helps form osteocalcin, a calcium-binding protein necessary for mineralization of bone
  • Hot vitamin – has relationship with helping heart disease (and calcium being deposited in the heart) and also with regulating inflammation
Sources notes
  • Best source for K1 is leafy vegetables
  • Anti-inflammatory K2 is synthesized by bacteria and found in  fermented foods: cheeses and natto ; K2 also in organ meats (beef, pork and chicken liver)
Vegetable Sources Turnip greens; Broccoli; Lettuce; Cabbage; Spinach; Watercress; Asparagus; green peas; green beans; tomato; potato
Fruit Sources peaches; raisins
Nut and seed sources
Absorption and function notes
  • Fat soluble – fat enhances absorption
  • Tetracycline can interfere with vitamin K activity
Deficiency factors
  • History of easy bruising or recurrent menorrhagia
  • GI Integrity – 50% of vitamin K is made by the bacteria in the gut (Colonic microflora integrity necessary)
  • Deficiency is uncommon
  • Excess vitamin A and E may antagonize Vitamin K
Toxicity
  • Promotes clotting and antagonizes the activity of anticoagulants such as Coumadin
  • Toxicity is not problematic except with vitamin K3 (menadione) a synthetic form which can cause oxidation of cell membrane phospholipids

Adapted from:

Murray, M. (2005). Encyclopedia of Healing Food. New York, N.Y.: Atria Books

Bland, J., Costarella, L., Levin, B., Liska, D., Lukaczer, D., Schlitz, B., Schmidt, M., Lerman, R., Quinn, S., Jones, D. (2004). Clinical Nutrition: A Functional Approach, Second Edition. Gig Harbor, WA: The Institute for Functional Medicine.

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