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The Wonders of Vitamin K

Vitamin K in SpinachAs a result of one of my reader’s comments, I did a little research on Vitamin K. He suggested checking out vitamin K because I had shared my experience about my brain calcification scare. Thanks, Stew for the heads up.

Apparently, vitamin K helps the blood to clot normally and helps to prevent heart disease. It also appears to help prevent calcification of the arteries. Does it help with brain calcification? I don’t know. I would think that since it prevents calcification in the arteries, it would help with the brain also.

According to the NutrIndex (formerly Health Encyclopedia), on the subject of Vitamin K, “it has been hypothesized…it’s possible mechanisms include inhibiting brain calcification…”

Vitamin K also helps to prevent osteoporosis. Apparently, it seems to be a facilitator in keeping the calcium in places where it’s supposed to be (the bones) and not deposited in places where it shouldn’t be (the arteries).

As if that wasn’t enough, Vitamin K also helps fight tooth decay. According to a study performed in the 1940s by Dr. Leonard S. Fosdick, chewing Vitamin K coated gum for 10 minutes after every meal yielded a 60 to 90% decrease in new cavities over a period of 18 months. Vitamin K appeared to be more effective than fluoridated drinking water. Imagine that?

Where to get Vitamin K

Green leafy vegetables have an abundance of Vitamin K. Things like kale, spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard, mustard greens, broccoli and so on and so on. Go into your garden or your neighbor’s garden (with permission, of course) and start chomping away.Garden

From what I’ve read, there are no ill effects of eating too much of the stuff. There might be ill effects if you choose to get your vitamin K through synthetic supplements. So, do yourself a favor and get it naturally.

Daily Recommended Dose of Vitamin K

I’ve read anywhere from 1-10 mg per day. To save yourself the headache of having to calculate how much to eat, just get your daily serving of greens each day. You’ll have your required amount of Vitamin K. According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, 1 cup of boiled kale gives you 1327.6% of the daily value.

Does Vitamin K Prevent Brain Calcification?

I can’t say that it does for sure, but it sure can’t hurt to get your daily required dose of vitamin K.

About the author: Felicia has learned the hard way that health, whether good or bad, is a result of daily choices and habits. On this blog, Felicia shares what she’s learned and the healthier choices she now makes as a result of her new knowledge. She hopes to encourage others to experiment to find alternative solutions to nagging problems (she’s also is a bit of a tree hugger and likes to share ways to lighten the toxic burden on the environment).

in Aging, Brain Function, Food, Natural Healing, Nutrition

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Stew December 2, 2009, 4:44 pm

    Hi Felicia,

    I have seen your page about vitamin K. The study with the vitamin K coated gum is very interesting, I have heard that it can help teeth though I had wondered what was the best way to do that – now I know. 🙂
    I have been doing a bit more reading on vitamin K and one important thing is that there are a number of types and they end up in different parts of the body. Vitamin K1 which is found in green vegetables tends to end up in the liver where it is used to activate the proteins needed for blood clotting. Vitamin K2 (Mk4 or Mk7 variant) is found in fermented products like cheese or ferment soy beans, it is also found in liver (or liver paste), egg yolk, meat and full fat milk. Vitamin K2 bypasses the liver and so ends up in the other parts of the body that need it, like the arteries, bones, joints and the brain.
    At present scientists know of 16 vitamin K dependant proteins produced by the body. Some are involved in coagulation and are found in the liver and so activated by K1, others like matrix gla protein (MGP), osteocalcin, transforming growth factor beta i (TGF Bi), GAS 6 and periostin are found elsewhere. Scientists are still working on the exact functions of these proteins and a number of scientists have the view that people aren’t getting enough vitamin K in order to activate these other proteins.
    The bottom line is that activated MGP is vital for anti calcification and it also makes arteries and skin elastic, I can testify to that since my pulse pressure has dropped from over 60 to 42, and as a result I feel much fitter. Osteocalcin is vital for bone health, Periostin looks as if it is good for connective tissue – eg it helps keep teeth in place. And a recent animal study it has been shown that TGF Bi deficiency leads to spontaneous tumours . There have also been some other studies that indicate that vitamin K2 is beneficial with regard to cancer. However it very early days and a good amount of research is needed.
    It’s important to know the different effect of K2 compared with K1 because of the way the body uses them. There was a three year study in the US on vitamin K1 and arterial calcification which wasn’t successful, mainly because the K1 ended up in the liver. It would have been good if they had done a study with K2, however many researchers don’t yet realise the difference between the two variants.
    If you ever want details of the studies please ask me, I have now collected details of quite a number. Some of the interesting things are that pre menopause female mammals (studies based on rats and women!)are much better at absorbing and using vitamin K than male mammals – this could be a possible reason why men can get heart disease earlier than women. It could also help explain why osteoporosis kicks in after menopause. Another interesting thing I learnt was that the area in France with the least heart disease (Gascony) is where they eat the most goose pate and lots of cheese. Things start fitting together if you look at the intake of vitamin K2. Also the Japanese eat a fermented soy bean dish containing huge amount of K2 and they have much less CVD and osteoporosis.
    An important thing to note is that vitamin K1 and K2 are fat soluble so if you decide to take supplements you need to have them with food which contains fat. I’m not worried much about fat since I have seen that the European countries that eat the most fat have the least heart disease (based on WHO data)!
    Please let me know if you would like details on any of the studies.

    Best Wishes


    • Felicia December 4, 2009, 9:29 am

      Wow, Stew. That’s some great info.

      It will take me a bit to digest it, but once I do, I might take you up on your offer of additional info.