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Vitamin K

Published: June 09, 2017

Kale is an excellent source of vitamin K
Kale is an excellent source of vitamin K

Vitamin K is involved in the synthesis of bone proteins and it has become popular, in recent years, for this vitamin to be included in supplements which claim to prevent bone loss along with calcium, magnesium and vitamin D.

Supplementation with vitamin K may for bone health may not be necessary as a variety of green leafy vegetables, such as kale, spinach, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli, contain more than enough vitamin K in a single 1/2 cup serving to meet your daily requirement.
Vitamin K deficiency can be fatal and too much vitamin K may interfere with certain drugs.
In addition to building bone proteins, what other functions does this vitamin have in your body, how much vitamin K do you need, and what are the best sources of vitamin K?
Vitamin K and its functions
Vitamin K, like vitamins A, D, and E, is a fat soluble vitamin which requires the presence of bile during the digestion process.  There are several different vitamin K organic compounds: phylloquinone, menaquinone, menadione, and naphtloquinone.
Phylloquinone is the most abundant form of vitamin K in the North American diet and is the major form in plant foods while animal products provide a mix of menaquinones.
The chemical structures of three forms of vitamin K
The chemical structures of three forms of vitamin K
Your gut bacteria synthesise vitamin K in the form of menaquinones and provide you with an "in house" source of vitamin K. 
Two functions of vitamin K have been identified: the synthesis of bone proteins and the synthesis of many different proteins associated with blood clotting.
Synthesis bone proteins..Link to the full article to learn more.

Related Topics

Health  Food Choices  Nutrients  Vitamins 

References

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Gropper, S.S., Smith, J.L. & Groff, J.L. (2005). Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism (4thEd.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.
2.
Whitney, E. & Rady Rolfes, S. (2005). Understanding Nutrition. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth
3.
Shea et al. (2015). The association between vitamin K status and knee osteoarthritis features in older adults: The health, aging, and body composition study. Osteoarthritis and cartilage. 23;370-378
4.
Van de Heuvel et al. (2015). Vitamin K status is not associated with cognitive decline in middle-aged adults. Journal of health and aging. 19(9).
5.
Harshman and Shea (2016). The role of vitamin K in chronic aging diseases: Inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and osteoarthritis. Curr Nutr Rep.5:90-98.
6.
Cheung et al. (2015). Vitamin intake and mortality in people with chronic kidney disease from NHANES III. Clinical nutrition. 34;235-240