Most of us are completely unaware of what vitamins do for our body, how they are important, and what the deficiency of each type does? Vitamins are substances that the body needs to work and develop properly. If vitamins are deficient in the body, then it will not function as it should, and will develop certain disorders. Vitamins are found everywhere―you can find them in fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy, and these days there are even vitamin supplements available.
Why is Vitamin K Important?
Every vitamin is important for the body's normal functioning. However, vitamin K helps the body make a bone protein called osteocalcin fully functional. Osteocalcin is then carboxylated with the help of this vitamin itself, and this helps calcium in the body to bind the bones and make them stronger. It also plays a vital role in preventing calcification of arteries, and it helps regulate blood sugar levels in the body.
How Much Vitamin K Does the Body Need?
This is a fat-soluble vitamin, and for the body to function properly, it needs 80 mg per day for men and 65 mg per day for women. Infants also need some amount, even though this is a nominal amount of 5 mg per day.
What are its Best Sources?
Leafy vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and spinach are rich sources. You can also find this vitamin in cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and soybeans. Cows milk is a great way to drink your way to health, with its richness of Vitamin K. Bacteria in the intestines are also a great source.
Vitamin K Deficiency
When the body doesn't get the required amounts of a particular vitamin, it leads to deficiencies, which can be detrimental to the body and it's functioning. When a person fails to consume and absorb from the intestines the required amount of this vitamin, it leads to deficiency. More often than not, it is the inability of the body to absorb the vitamin from the intestines that leads to deficiency, rather than the lack of consumption.
This deficiency also occurs when a person has been consuming antibiotics, which destroy the vitamin K producing bacteria in the body. Newborns are at risk for this type of deficiency, because their body and digestive tract does not have this kind of bacteria.
How it Affects Bone Health, Bone Density, and Osteoporosis
Did you know that this vitamin plays a vital role in bone health, bone density, and osteoporosis? Let's understand how. In simple terms, it helps in binding calcium to the bones, and thus improving overall bone health, bone density, and preventing osteoporosis. This is important in postmenopausal women, who are at the highest risk of osteoporosis. Vitamin K and its supplements improve bone health and reduce the risk of fractures, especially hip fractures.