The Wonders of Vitamin K

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Vitamin K is
much more than a blood clotting agent. Vitamin K improves bone density,
aids in preventing hardening of the arteries, and is a stronger
antioxidant than vitamin E or coenzyme Q10.

There are 3
known forms of vitamin K. K1 is found in dark green leafy vegetables.
K2 is synthesized in the body by the healthy bacteria in the gut
and is found in naturally fermented foods. K3 is synthetic and tends
to generate excess free radicals and should be avoided.

Although vitamin
K is fat soluble, it is not stored in the body. Deficiency of vitamin
K is actually common. Antibiotics, aspirin, cholesterol reducing
drugs, and hydrogenated oils are known to interfere with or deplete
vitamin K.

Vitamin K is
actually a modulator of blood clotting. Too much vitamin K will
not cause too much blood clotting because the process is self regulated
in the body. Vitamin K will also prevent blood clots by preventing
platelet aggregation which is a separate process from coagulation.
Platelet aggregation has to do with free radical damage, whereas
coagulation is about calcium level in the cells.

New research
on vitamin K is showing that K helps to keep calcium in the bones
and out of the arteries. Vitamin K works on a specific form of protein
that controls calcium. With enough vitamin K, this protein known
as osteocalcin can hold onto the calcium and keep it from drifting
out of the bones into soft tissue. When there is not enough vitamin
K in the body to "carboxylate" the osteocalcin, calcium
leaves the bones which then become porous.

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May
1, 2010

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