Vitamins are an essential part of nutrition and vital for the proper functioning of our bodies. Vitamins play an important role in most body processes and other essential molecules and nutrients are derived from vitamins or produced by using them. Vitamin K is one of the most important vitamins in the body, and it is necessary to get adequate quantities through our diet and supplementation.
Vitamin K was discovered by Henrik Dam in 1929 when he realized that a compound in cholesterol could prevent bleeding. Vitamin K is “fat soluble”, which means that it is better absorbed when ingested with fat. The “K” is derived from the German word “koagulation.” Coagulation refers to the process of blood clot formation. While a normal healthy body can produce vitamin K, supplementation is advised for those with poor diets or as a general insurance.
When vitamin K deficiency does occur, it is most likely to happen in newborns, especially if they are premature, breastfed, or their mother was taking anticoagulant medication. Babies are born with sterile intestines; therefore, there’s no bacteria in the gut to produce vitamin K2, making them more susceptible to vitamin K deficiency if their diet has inadequate amounts.
Deficiency is also more likely in people who have problems absorbing fats, such as in obstructive jaundice, celiac disease, chronic diarrhea, intestinal bypass surgery, chronic pancreatitis, and liver disease. People who have been injured, have impaired kidney function, or use antibiotics for extended periods of time are also at greater risk for vitamin K deficiency.
Vitamin K has two main forms – phylloquinine(vitamin K1), which is also known as phytonadione – and menaquinones(vitamin K2). K is further sub-divided into 1) produced by plants and 2)produced by bacteria. In humans it is naturally occurring in the digestive tract where bacteria produces it in the colon.
Vitamin K plays a major role in bone health, by empowering secondary modification of the protein osteocalcin required to bind calcium to bone matrix. Thus it helps regulate the body’s calcium and also aids calcium absorption. Improper levels of calcium can damage the brain if accumulated and vitamin K helps prevent this buildup. It also produces GLA, a “glue” like amino acid that helps keep calcium in the bones. Especially for postmenopausal women, vitamin K is important for helping to keep osteoporosis at bay, as studies have shown that taking a supplement of 45mg of vitamin K daily for 3 years improved bone density.
Vitamin K is also important for healthy skin. Vitamin K Cream has become increasingly used as an effective treatment for spider veins and bruises. Popular in topical skin care products, Vitamin K helps strengthen vein and capillary walls, coagulate seeping blood, and aids in the treatment of general redness, bruises and spider veins.
Many dermal problems are caused by pooling or seeping of blood near the skin’s surface. Bruising is caused by trauma to the blood vessels. The tell-tale discoloration associated with bruising is caused when the blood leaks into surrounding tissue. Vitamin K has recently been studied for its effects on reducing bruising following certain dermatological procedures. Those patients who applied the Vitamin K after the procedure noticed a significant reduction in the severity of bruising. Also, dermatologists have recently found Vitamin K to be successful in the treatment of dark circles under the eyes.
Niacinamide, a derivative compound, has been shown to be an effective skin lightening agent, especially for skin conditions where hyperpigmentation may occur on the face or other visible part of the body. Recent studies also noted that niacin and its derivatives have chemopreventative effects. When applied to mouse skin, topical nicotinamide produced a 70 per cent decrease in ultra-violet-induced skin cancer.
“The benefits to the skin after application of nicotinamide can be useful for patients with atopic dermatitis, who often experience dry, irritated skin when the disease flares,” suggests Dr Smith. “This could be another promising treatment for ageing skin, which often becomes dry and flaky as we age.”
“Vitamins continue to be reorganized as having an important role to play in the health of the body,” says Dr David Smith, chief researcher at SkinWhite Research Labs. ‘New studies have shown that Vitamin K and niacin are beneficial to the skin, particularly for the problems involving pigmentation and dry skin.”
Studies have shown that a minimum 1% solution (concentration by weight or volume) helps reduce the appearance of bruising and spider veins with extended, consistent use. Typically, results require application twice per day for two or three months. Results vary, but the longer and more religiously creams are used, the better the results.
Vitamin K Cream is effective for treating skin redness and rosacea. Rosacea and skin redness are symptoms of seeping blood, inflammation and irritation. When cream formulas include active ingredients such as Emu Oil, Aloe Vera and Phytotonine, redness and inflammation are reduced and fading and healing can hasten.
Outside its ability to increase capillary and vein wall strength, vitamin-enriched creams are well suited to penetrate surface layers of the skin encouraging healthy cell reproduction, elastin fiber health, and helping to repair and heal vein and capillary valves. It also prevents the hardening of the arteries which also improves the general function of the circulatory system. It was found that by feeding rats a K2 rich diet for 6 weeks, further hardening of the arteries was prevented and a 37 per cent reduction of existing hardening. As currently no treatment exists for hardened arteries, cardiovascular specialists are extremely excited by this finding. Vitamin K is not an instant fix. It takes the body time to absorb and begin properly healing leakage or repairing poorly functioning valves. For accelerated fading and healing, Vitamin K Cream should be on your list for a well-rounded skin care regimen.
Vitamin K aids in supporting long life. It aids in converting glucose into glycogen for storage in the liver which promotes healthy liver function. This nutrient plays a vital role in the body’s intestines. This vitamin is believed to aid in the prevention of cancers that aim at the inner linings of the organs. This nutrient also may increase resistance to infection in children.
Since vitamin K is soluble in fat it is associated with the synthesis of proteins that are required for blood clotting. Without this, uncontrolled bleeding would occur and the result could be fatal.
Antobiotics can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb vitamin K. Antibiotics also increase the need to supplement the vitamin for one’s body. Antibiotics kill bacteria and this vitamin is synthesized by bacteria in our intestines; when we take antibiotics it interferes with this procedure. Of course, antibiotics are very unhealthy and should only be used in an emergency to control infection. Colostrum can be substituted for antibiotics in 99% of cases.
Often used by dermatologists and cosmetologists as pre- or post-treatment care, Vitamin K is also a powerful antioxidant that has been approved for the treatment of osteoporosis in some countries including Japan. It has also been shown that it prevents the calcification of arteries and other soft tissue which make them more rigid and more susceptible to damage in event of an injury.
Others also state that it is a very important anti-aging vitamin and can help you look better and live longer. It is also believed that a lack of vitamin K may have something to with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, so it is also used in connection with preventing this condition as well.
The nutrient gets into the body mainly by synthesis. The body synthesizes it by “friendly” bacteria normally present in healthy intestines. Vitamin K can be found in foods and herbs such as Asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, dark green leafy vegetables, liver, rye, kale, mustard greens, green peas, soybeans and wheat all contain this vitamin. Other foods include blackstrap molasses, Brussels sprout, cauliflower, egg yolks, oatmeal, and safflower oil. This vitamin can be found in these herbs; alfalfa, kelp, oat straw, and shepherd’s purse. Other herbs containing the nutrient are green tea and nettle.
Vitamin K may play a role in the regulation of blood sugar which can aid many people including diabetics and people who are hyper and hypoglycemics.
Vitamin K is necessary in the production of a molecule that is a powerful inhibitor of kidney stone formation. That may explain the lower incidence of kidney stones for individuals who are vegetarians.
Prevents elevations of IL-6 (interleukin-6) which is a chemical messenger in the immune system that promotes inflammation. Inflammation has become a critical focus in new theories of aging and disease.
Remember that if you are already on anti-coagulants, you need to consult your doctor before you decide to start taking vitamin K supplements. The reason is the fact that both vitamin K and other anti-coagulants help our blood to clot, it is not a good idea to have excess of this nutrient in you body.
The best vitamin k will come in natural supplements free from harmful toxins. Always make sure that you buy the most natural versions of vitamins available.
When used together, vitamin K and vitamin C have been shown effective for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. One study showed 91% of participants had complete remission within 72 hours when the vitamins were used together. When the vitamins were administered alone they had little effect.
If you are under medication of some sort, it is important to note that supplement may interfere with the functioning of some anti-clotting medication such as Warfarin. Certain heart conditions show symptoms of blood viscosity which require treatment using anticoagulant drugs. When taken with vitamin K supplements, the interaction could neutralize the effects of such drugs, rendering treatment ineffective.