Lately, I have been reading a lot about Vitamin K. When I think back to my childhood, this is not a vitamin I heard much about. However, this vitamin has important benefits for everyone’s health. The USDA recommends women get 90 mcg per day and men get 120 mcg a day with older adults possibly needing more due to their decreased ability to absorb nutrients from food. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, so you must eat fat at the same time to improve absorption.
Vitamin K prevents calcium build up along the artery walls, improving blood flow and heart health.
The body needs Vitamin K to produce prothrombin, a protein and blood clotting agent that helps your body’s blood clot after injury. Those taking blood thinning medications for health reasons should not take Vitamin K without first talking to their doctor.
Studies suggests that Vitamin K is important for bone health, reducing the risk of fractures by increasing bone density.
New research has shown a connection between Vitamin K levels and episodic memory in older adults. Episodic memory is a type of long-term memory that involves conscious recollection of past experiences combined with their perspective in terms of time, place, and associated emotions.
You can take supplements for Vitamin K but consuming it from food sources is the most effective way to maintain adequate levels. Vitamin k is abundant in kale, chard, and other leafy greens. It can also be found in meat, dairy and grapes.
Photo from flickr.