What is so special about Vitamin K? Vitamin K is a fat-soluble nutrient best known for its essential role in blood clotting. It also aids bone development, blood sugar regulation, and more.
How does it work?
Your body needs vitamin K to activate osteocalcin, a protein that incorporates calcium into bone; if you don’t get enough, bones won’t develop normally or remain strong. Vitamin K can also help regulate blood sugar levels, according to recent studies, via osteocalcin, which does double duty as a hormone. Vitamin K–dependent osteocalcin regulates the number of insulin producing cells in the pancreas, insulin secretion and activity, and the size of fat cells. Your body also uses vitamin K to make a protein that helps regulate where calcium gets deposited. With adequate vitamin K, the body moves calcium into bones and out of the heart’s major arteries.
Where can you get it?
Vitamin K is found in leafy greens and cheese. For supplements, there are three different forms to choose from: vitamin K1 (called phytonadione or phylloquinone) and two forms of K2: MK-4 m(menatetrenone) and MK-7 (menaquinone). All three offer health benefits, usually specific to each type. If you’re at risk for osteoporosis, consider a combination supplement with all three K’s.
Dose: 180 mcg MK-7 or 5,000 mcg K1 or 5,000–45,000 mcg MK-4, daily. To improve glucose tolerance try a K1 supplement. Dose: 500 mcg vitamin K1 daily. K1 and MK-7 both work to reduce heart calcification. Dose: 500 mcg vitamin K1 or 50–150 mcg MK-7 daily.
Article from November/December 2015 Living Healthy Everyday Magazine. Download your copy here.