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I love sharing awareness of certain chemicals that get overlooked, like vitamin K. Today’s chemistry secret is why do we need vitamin k?
Vitamin K plays an important role in our bodies, and you probably get plenty of it through diet.
But you might not.
In fact, vitamin K deficiency is a real thing you need to be aware of.
First, let’s talk about what vitamin K is.
PIN THIS: Why do we need vitamin K?
Vitamin K is best known for its function in the blood. K vitamins are most important for their process in blood clotting.
This is a fat-soluble vitamin meaning it needs fat to be absorbed properly by the body.
Let’s pause there for a moment because this topic has come up quite a bit from readers. It is true your body needs a certain amount of fat to be healthy, but more importantly, your body desperately needs fats to absorb most vitamins and minerals. Make sure to always include healthy fats in moderation with your diet to get the most benefit out of healthy eating!
So, fat-soluble vitamins mean fat allows these nutrients to be absorbed properly.
The two naturally occurring k vitamins are K1 and K2. For more scientific details on how vitamin K works in the body, check out this article from Oregon State.
Vitamin K in the Body
Oddly enough, the body only stores very small portions of vitamin K. This is another reason some people become vitamin K deficient without a proper diet.
Most healthy adults will never become vitamin K deficient, but those who have bowel diseases, infants, or older people can become susceptible to it.
Vitamin K Deficiency Symptoms
One of the biggest signs of vitamin K deficiency is easy bruising. Another sign is increased bleeding when you get a cut or wound. Without vitamin k to coagulate the blood, it makes bleeding hard to stop.
Prolonged vitamin K deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, heart problems, tooth decay, and even cancer.
That is why vitamin K is not a nutrient to overlook!
Where do we get vitamin K from?
Like I mentioned above, most healthy adults can get all the vitamin K they need from foods.
Here are some common foods with vitamin k:
- Brussels Sprouts
You’ll notice that vegetables are the best way to get vitamin K aside from Tuna on this list. There are so many other vegetables that contain this nutrient, so if you eat plenty of veggies, you probably get enough vitamin K.
Most multi-vitamins contain small doses of vitamin K, just the recommended dose needed for a healthy adult each day.
I like this brand of multi-vitamin and it contains all the necessary percentages each day.
Vitamin K Supplement
If you are deficient in vitamin K or the doctor recommended a supplement, there are many of them on the market.
Keep an eye out for non-gmo products to make sure the vitamin K isn’t chemically manufactured. Unfortunately, there are many synthetic varieties of vitamin K which you don’t want to use. Non-gmo will ensure it is NOT genetically modified.
What if you aren’t sure?
If you notice easy bruising, cuts that bleed unusually and won’t clot, or anything else like this, always talk with your doctor. A simple blood test can find out exactly how much vitamin K you have in the body. It is the only way to know 100%.
If you take any type of blood thinner, be cautious about vitamin K. They will be counteractive since the vitamin K helps blood clot and blood thinners are made to thin blood.
Again, always be use to ask your doctor!
Vitamin K and Skin
Believe it or not, vitamin K plays an important role in skincare. If you remember this post from last month, the BEST and cheapest skincare products on amazon, a few of these items contain vitamin K.
Vitamin K is important topically too.
Stay-tuned to Chemistry Cachet for some really neat information about vitamin K and skincare!