Author Topic: Vitamin K  (Read 12498 times)


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Vitamin K
« on: December 22, 2009, 06:33:20 PM »
I've been researching vitamin K and although I've learned a lot about it, I still have a lot of questions too. It's a nutrient that comes up very low on a mostly-meat diet (at least according to the USDA's database). However, I don't know how accurate that is. Apparently liver, meat and eggs have good amounts of K2, the liver especially. But it does seem that K1 is basically entirely lacking on a meat-only diet, as it seems to only be available in green leafy veggies and some vegetable oils. So is that a problem?

This site was very informative:

Vitamin K Supplementation Retards Postmenopausal Bone Loss
In 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 Disease
They 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 Stiffening
A 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]

« Last Edit: December 22, 2009, 06:50:20 PM by marika »


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Re: Vitamin K
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2009, 06:34:49 PM »
Deficiency symptoms

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.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2009, 06:38:24 PM by marika »


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Re: Vitamin K
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2009, 06:49:59 PM »
OK, it looks like eggs and meats do contain small amounts of K1, so perhaps a meat-only diet provides enough to be sufficient?

Food Name     
Estimated Portion Size equivalent to 100 grams+
Mean Vitamin K1 Content (mcg/100 gm)++
Eggs, boiled    2 (large)    0.3
Eggs, fried    2 (large)    6.9
Eggs, scrambled    2 (large)    12

Beef, chuck roast, baked     3.5 oz      0.7
Chicken, fried (breast, leg, and thigh), homemade     1 piece      4.5
Liver, beef, fried     3.5 oz     2.7

But nowhere near the levels in green leafy veggies:


Brussels sprouts, fresh/frozen, boiled     5 sprouts     289
Collards, fresh/frozen, boiled     1/2 cup     440
« Last Edit: December 22, 2009, 06:53:20 PM by marika »


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Re: Vitamin K
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2009, 07:04:40 PM »
The amounts of K2 in foods (scroll down to the "Comments" area):


Food 100g   cal K2 K2 in 2000kcal
egg (raw)
 chicken   154 48 623
 duck   183 45 492
 goose   179 45 503
 yolk   348 147 845
cooked liver
 pork   123 61 992
 beef   147 81 1102
 chicken   147 87 1184
 veal   146 97 1329
 liver pate   299 49 328
 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 60 162
 Corned beef   141 20 284
 Salami   365 14 77
 pork belly   469 8 34
 beef rib   146 13 178
 Ox tail   221 15 136

Other fats, offal, seafood and most meats contain none.

It seems that actually my levels of K2 should be quite high, since I eat liver frequently, as well as eggs. But the USDA's database doesn't have these figures, and so Cron-o-meter shows I am very low in vitamin K. Frustrating!


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Re: Vitamin K
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2009, 05:12:09 AM »
More on the importance of vitamin K:

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.

So it seems important to have both K1 and K2 in the diet (and K1 would be lacking in a meat-only diet).

This study showed that K2 was preventative for prostate cancer:

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.

Offline simplbill

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Re: Vitamin K
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2010, 05:17:41 AM »
I scanned through your posts but wanted to add that K deficits can lead to the inability to clot your blood. I had to take K as a young man, I would suffer severe nosebleeds as a result. I have begun to introduce green leafies like collards and kale, my grandmother was a firm believer in using them for elimination as well as the vitamins they contain. I also use her method of using fatback to season them too.

Offline Ianpeterson

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Re: Vitamin K
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2010, 09:32:11 PM »
Many of the characteristics of the most common chronic diseases, especially connective tissue are the same symptoms of vitamin K. Vitamin K is a known clotting vitamin, because without it, the blood does not clot. Some studies show that helps maintain strong bones in the elderly.

Offline wolf monkey

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Re: Vitamin K
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2011, 07:02:20 AM »
Vitamin K2 and K1 are interchangeable they both aren't essential.  K2 is obviously the much better form if you do the research. 

Offline millie

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Re: Vitamin K
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2012, 09:28:10 AM »
Vitamin K is found in abundance in thyme-throw a handful in stews or marinade your meat in the fresh stuff.  I have a thyme bush growing in the garden and in my opinion it goes with any meat.  I have a lemon thyme too for chicken dishes.  Lovely

Offline PaleoDavid

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Re: Vitamin K
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2012, 01:46:22 PM »
There is a difference between K1 and K2 and all K2 is not ideal K2. Specifically, K2 MK-4 is sourced from animal products, which one might say is more likely paleo than the K-2 MK-7 type, which is plant-sourced. I get mine from butter oil, which is sort of super-condensed ghee. For a good discussion of the differences between K1 and K2, the differences between K2 MK-4 and K2 MK-7, and the potential medical benefits of K2 MK-4 in particular, check out Richard Nikoley's blog and just search on K2 and or MK-4.

I have been experimenting with the capsule version of butter oil from Green Pastures for a few weeks now (also the capsule form of the fermented cod liver oil as well).