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Vitamin K Supplementation Retards Postmenopausal Bone LossIn the group with vitamin K, bone loss at the femoral neck was retarded by 35%-40% compared to the other mineral vitamin D group. It is stated that if these effects continued over decades, lifelong supplementation could postpone fractures by up to 10 years. They also found a significant increase in bone mineral content and density in the vitamin K group.Extremely high doses 45-90 mg/day of vitamin K2 are successfully used in the treatment of osteoporosis in Japan. 18-20 These doses of K2 exceed RDA levels by 1000 fold and no side effects were noted. Low Vitamin K Intake as a Risk Factor for Cardiovascular DiseaseThey found an inverse correlation between long term vitamin K intake and arterosclerotic aorta calcification. 21 Only vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) was included in the study. A subsequent study of 4500 participants of the Rotterdam study by Gelejinse, et. al. reports a much stronger negative correlation between long term, lower than adequate intake of vitamin K2 (menaquinone) and aortic calcification. The data was stronger for K2 than for K1. This is consistent with the suggestion of preferential uptake of K2 by the vessel wall. 22 Vitamin K Supplementation Prevents Age Related Vascular StiffeningA supplement of 1 mg/day of vitamin K1 completely abolished age-related arterial stiffening...Most of our dietary vitamin K1 comes from vegetables - about 80%. Vitamin K2 is obtained mainly from the "good" bacteria produced in the digestive tract and is also found in certain fermented foods. 26 The absorbability of the vitamin K2 from the GI tract bacteria is uncertain. 27 The absorption of vitamin K1 from vegetables is about 10%."However, both K1 and K2 are well absorbed from supplements as long as they are taken with some dietary fat to stimulate bile secretion." Daily intake of between 200 and 500 mcg/day of vitamin K through food sources may be required for optimal health. We have discussed the beneficial effects of vitamin K on bone density, cardiovascular health, and the Syndrome X diseases, however, there are even more benefits to vitamin K supplementation. [anti-inflammatory, deficiency causes diabetes, anti-oxidant, low levels concurrent with Alzheimer's, decreases risk of liver cancer]
Deficiency symptoms of Vitamin K manifest as decreased clotting, nosebleeds, increased blood pressure, hemorrhages, and diarrhea.
Excess of vitamin K deficiency results in impaired blood clotting; symptoms include easy bruising, nosebleeds, bleeding gums, blood in the urine and stools, or extremely heavy menstrual bleeding. Deficiency in infants may result in life-threatening bleeding, leading to haemorrhage.
Food Name Estimated Portion Size equivalent to 100 grams+ Mean Vitamin K1 Content (mcg/100 gm)++Eggs, boiled 2 (large) 0.3Eggs, fried 2 (large) 6.9Eggs, scrambled 2 (large) 12Beef, chuck roast, baked 3.5 oz 0.7Chicken, fried (breast, leg, and thigh), homemade 1 piece 4.5Liver, beef, fried 3.5 oz 2.7
Brussels sprouts, fresh/frozen, boiled 5 sprouts 289Collards, fresh/frozen, boiled 1/2 cup 440
Food 100g cal K2 K2 in 2000kcalegg (raw) chicken 154 48 623 duck 183 45 492 goose 179 45 503 yolk 348 147 845cooked liver pork 123 61 992 beef 147 81 1102 chicken 147 87 1184 veal 146 97 1329 liver pate 299 49 328Dairy C'bert/brie 362 35 193 cream 40% 373 40 214 milk,boiled 65 4 123 hard cheese 356 25 140 proces'd cheese 327 30 183 sour cream 10% 117 10 171 Edam 45% 354 30 169 butter 741 60 162Meat Corned beef 141 20 284 Salami 365 14 77 pork belly 469 8 34 beef rib 146 13 178 Ox tail 221 15 136Other fats, offal, seafood and most meats contain none.
Research is ongoing into the possible role of vitamin K and its ability to prevent strokes and Alzheimer's disease, because there is a suggestion it might play a part in the development of brain cells.Cancer Research UK says there are investigations into a possible preventative role for vitamin K with breast cancer, although these are at "very, very preliminary stages".Vitamin K has also been found to be vital for bone health. It produces an amino acid called Gla which acts as a glue to help keep the calcium in the bone.A study published in Osteoporosis International earlier this year found that postmenopausal women who took a daily supplement of 45mg of vitamin K2, a form of the vitamin, for three years had improved bone density and less of the bone loss that usually occurs in postmenopausal women.Indeed, the width of the neck of their hip bone, which is prone to fractures, actually increased.Previously, an American study called the Nurses Health study, which monitored 72,000 women over ten years, found that those with the lowest intake of vitamin K had a 30 per cent increased risk of a hip fracture.Those who daily ate lettuce - which is rich in vitamin K ? had a 50 per cent reduced risk of hip fracture.One of the most exciting claims being made about the vitamin is its ability to protect against and reverse the process of hardened arteries.Researchers at the Cardiovascular Research Institute based at the University of Maastricht gave rats a diet rich in vitamin K2 for six weeks and found that not only did this prevent any further hardening, but the existing hardening was reduced by 37 per cent....Studies suggest that vitamin K1's sole role is in bloodclotting whereas K2 has far wider functions.However vitamin K2 only forms 10 per cent of the average vitamin K intake in the western world.
An EPIC study at Heidelberg (it really was an epic: 11,000 men over an average of 8.6 years) showed conclusively that vitamin K gives critical protection against prostate cancer. It showed that K1, the plant derivative, was not helpful but K2, menaquinone as it's known, did the job well.
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