Vitamin K1, K2 Supplements - Foods, Sources, Information, Side Effects - Page 2

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Vitamin K1, K2 Supplements - Foods, Sources, Information, Side Effects - Page 2

Why Take Vitamin K?
Dr. Martin Kohlmeier of the University of North Carolina believes that vitamin K may have major importance in aging.  He points out that it has powerful effects in the brain, where it acts more like a hormone than a vitamin.  He also notes that vitamin K is very hormone-like in its appearance and disappearance during growth and development.  Newborns have almost no vitamin K.  It kicks in later, reaches a zenith, and then begins to recede with age.  This pattern is similar to the pattern of sex hormones.

Unlike other fat-soluble vitamins, the body does not store vitamin K.  Although the body recycles it, deficiency is common according to the latest research.  This is probably due to inadequate diet, a lack of co-factors, drugs and environmental stress that place unusual demands on vitamin K reserves.

Vitamin K in Food
Tufts University tests the vitamin content of foods for the U.S. Department of Agriculture which maintains a database.  Not too long ago, new technology allowed a more precise determination of the vitamin K content of food.  Using the new technology, Tufts researcher Dr. Sarah Booth discovered that the vitamin K content of most foods is lower than researchers previously thought.  Green leafy vegetables supply 40-50% of vitamin K for most Americans.  Vegetable oils are the next highest source.  Hydrogenated oils (margarine, for example) create an unnatural form of K that are associated with side effects that may actually stop the vitamin from working.

Most multi-vitamins don't contain any vitamin K at all.  The ones that contain K do not contain enough for optimal health.  Considering the importance of this vitamin, it's reasonable to ask yourself if you're getting enough.

Taking Vitamin K
How much vitamin K people should take is still in question.  It partly depends on diet, age and what stressors are present.  Vitamin K is not toxic and virtually side effects free in high doses and, unlike other fat-soluble vitamins, it does not accumulate in the body.

High amounts of vitamin K will not cause your blood to over-coagulate.  Coagulation proteins only have a certain number of spaces for vitamin K.  Once those spaces are filled, vitamin K cannot affect coagulation proteins.  Dr. Cees Vermeer of Maastricht University in the Netherlands compares it to what happens when you take vitamin C.  Vitamin C is required for the hydroxylation of collagen (hydroxylation is similar to carboxylation).  If you take too much vitamin C, however, you don't get too much collagen in the same way that if you take too much K you don't get too much coagulation.  The processes are self-limiting.

Dosage and precautions
Vitamin K is not stored in the body, and is therefore nontoxic and side effects free in high amounts.  Forty-five milligrams (mg) a day have been used in studies without ill effects.  Dosage depends on an individual's diet, age, whether they are taking drugs, and what stressors are present.  Generally, amounts as high as 10 mg (10,000 mcg) per day is okay, however, 1 Super K (2,100 mcg) softgel per day is sufficient.

If you want to get your vitamin K level tested, request the osteocalcin test.  It is much more reliable than coagulation tests.  The osteocalcin test measures how much carboxylated osteocalcin you have.  Since carboxylation is dependent on vitamin K, this test will give you a good idea of your vitamin K status and whether or not you're headed for health problems and the side effects associated with deficiency.

Vitamin K 1, K2 Supplements - Page 1 | Page 3 | References | Cream | Vitamin K and Newborns

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