Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin similar to Vitamin D. Unlike the water-soluble vitamins, the fat-soluble vitamins can be stored within the body and should be consumed with fatty foods found in one’s diet. There are two variations of K and both have small differences but similar benefits. Most K supplements are found in conjunction with other vitamins such as Vitamin D (as they are both fat-soluble and help with overall bone health). In this article, we are going to discuss everything that is needed to know about Vitamin K!
What is Vitamin K?
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that essentially helps blood clotting to prevent loss of blood or excessive bleeding if one get injured. It is a fat-soluble vitamin similar to D, and similarly to Vitamin D, also helps with maintaining healthy bones.
Are there different variations of Vitamin K like B & D?
Vitamin K refers to the groups of compounds that help with blood clotting and bone health. There are two types of Vitamin K and those are known as K1 and K2. K1, also known as Phylloquinone, is primarily found in green leafy vegetables and serves as the primary source of Vitamin K. K2, or menaquinone, is usually the transformed version of K1 that undergoes its process in the gut with the help of bacteria. It is usually found in fermented foods and other animal products and is usually the form found most in supplement stores.
What is the difference between the K1 & K2? Which should I take?
Studies show that the overall intake of either K1 or K2 is beneficial to the overall health in relation to blood coagulation and bone health. K1 is mainly found amongst plants and other green leafy foods but has shown to be less absorbable and not as easily metabolized in comparison to K2. K2 is characterized by menaquinones or MKs which are side branches that extend in length and are labeled accordingly from MK4-MK13. MK4 and MK7 have been found to be more beneficial in relation to blood coagulation and overall bone health. K1 can be more adequately found in one’s diet but K2 proves to be a little more beneficial, is more accessible in terms of supplementation, and has proven to last longer in the body.
When should I take Vitamin K? And how?
Since Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, it is recommended to be taken alongside other fatty foods that can be found in everyday diets. This is because fat-soluble vitamins are metabolized in the body similar to how fats are! Some examples of foods high in good fats include fish, avocado, peanut butter, etc. It is also good to consider foods essential to good bone health because it is most likely that they are high in Vitamin D as well. Like most other vitamins, K is best thought to be taken in the morning with breakfast! Taking vitamins in the morning allows one’s body to metabolize them best throughout the day. K again, is a fat-soluble vitamin so taking it alongside breakfast is a no brainer!
How much Vitamin K do I need?
Dosages of Vitamin K vary amongst individuals mainly depending on age. Before taking it upon oneself to decide if Vitamin K supplementation is necessary, a consultation with a doctor or medical professional is highly recommended. Adequate supplementation of K can be found by eating a balanced, healthy diet so additional supplementation may not be necessary. However, malnutrition or excessive bleeding could require additional supplementation. There are no proven side effects that result from taking Vitamin K but interactions with other medications may be possible. For a list of such interactions visit the National Institute of Health website to learn more. Here are some suggested dosages of Vitamin K based on age.
|Birth-6 months||2.0 mcg|
|7-12 years||2.5 mcg|
|1-3 years||30 mcg|
|4-8 years||55 mcg|
|9-13 years||60 mcg|
|14-18 years||75 mcg|
|Adult Men||120 mcg|
|Adult Women||90 mcg|
Chart Dosages provided by https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminK-Consumer/