Vitamin K , sometimes called The Forgotten Vitamin, is a critical requirement in our daily diet. And did you know that without vitamin K our bodies cannot use calcium?
Vitamin K is a biomolecule and refers to a group of hydrophobic vitamins that are essential for the processing of certain proteins.
Clinical studies have shown that vitamin K is critical in supporting bones because it activates a special protein called osteocalcin that is necessary for calcium to build health bone tissue. Vitamin K accumulates in the heart, lungs, liver, pancreas and kidneys in minutes amounts, but is required daily and has broader health applications than scientists every imagined.
The role of vitamin K has, for the past decade, been linked to two of the most important health issues we face osteoporosis and cardio-vascular disease. Research has shown that natural vitamin K is essential for our arteries, veins and heart and actually stops calcium from accumulating in the arteries (a build up of calcium contributes to heart disease) Inadequate metabolism of calcium can result in both arterial calcification, which is a build up of calcium similar to arteriosclerosis and osteoporosis, which is a breakdown of the bone.
How can calcium build up too much so it get dangerously deposited and also cause breakdown of bone due to lack of calcium? This is called the "calcium paradox". The calcium paradox is explained simply as getting calcium in the right place- into the bone structures and out of the arterial vessel walls. These events are dependent upon the synthesis of the vitamin K-dependent proteins Osteocalcin and Matrix Gla Protein in a process called carboxylation. This reaction is essential for optimal and healthy utilization of calcium.
There are two main forms of vitamin K:
Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone,)
Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone,)
Natural sources of vitamin K1 - which is found in plants provides the primary source of vitamin K .- green leafy vegetables such as spinach,, kale and Tivoli, okra and lettuce. Besides vegetable sources, vitamin K can be found also in animal products.
Viitamin K1 that plays a role in blood coagulation.
Vitamin K2(menaquinones) is made by good bacteria in the human gut and provides about 10% of the human vitaimin K requirement.
Vitamin K2 has an important role in calcium metabolism.
Thus, vitamin K2 deficiency is related to osteoporosis and to coronary calcification.
The ideal source of K2 is natto, the unpalatable, gooey, slimy mass of fermented soybeans and can also be found in fermented hard cheeses milk products , and meat
Vitamin K3 also called menadione, is the synthetic version and is generally regarded as toxic because it generates free radicals.
While it was long thought that we all had sufficient amounts of vitamin K in our bodies, recent research indicates that many of us suffer from a deficiency. Vitamin K is called a fat soluble vitamin, but unlike the other fat soluble vitamins is not stored in the body.