So my nurse practitioner called me yesterday. They got my lab results back. Apparently, I’m deficient in Vitamin K. Um, what? How is that even possible!!?? And it got me wondering… what IS vitamin K? And why did they skip vitamins F, G, H, I & J?
What is Vitamin K? & How to Eat More of It
Apparently, the “K” stands for “koagulation” which is the Danish spelling for “coagulation.” Weird, right? This is the vitamin that helps your blood to coagulate. And, it’s one of the four fat-soluble vitamins, the others being A, D, E.
Vitamin K & Your Body
Yes, we’re talking about blood. But not in a creepy vampire-y way.
We already know that Vitamin K is a clotting factor (which is good).
Vitamin K & Calcium
But Vitamin K also shuttles calcium through your blood to your bones and teeth.
And I’m sure that you’ve heard people caution against too much calcium, which can lead to kidney stones and atherosclerosis (a fancy way of saying hardened arteries). Thankfully, this vitamin helps to reduce your risk when it works with calcium in your blood. Pretty cool, right?
Another cool thing about Vitamin K is that is critical for making insulin, AND helps you regulate your blood sugar levels.
Between the Sheets
Yup, I went there.
Vitamin K can help to regulate your sex hormones (gross, but true).
For guys, it helps to maintain healthy levels of testosterone.
For those women who suffer from PCOS, this vitamin helps to reduce certain hormones.
Getting Enough Vitamin K
There are two main types of vitamin K: K1 and K2. Did you know that before right now?
K1 supports clotting and is found in plants like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, asparagus, spinach, collards, parsley, and Swiss chard.
K2 helps with bone mineralization and sex hormones and is found in animal foods and fermented plants like egg yolks, cheese, butter, meat, natto (fermented soy), liver, and sauerkraut.
Since K vitamins are one of the four fat-soluble vitamins you should try to eat them with a little bit of fat. You can do this by using some ghee to sautee your greens, or adding a little bit of bacon with your eggs.
Adding a little fat will help increase your body’s absorption of the vitamin.
Some of us (myself included) will need to supplement with additional Vitamin K. Thankfully, my nurse practitioner knows all of my medications and vitamins.
Oh, and all of the essential oils that I use.
Vitamin K can interact with several types of medications, so talk to you your healthcare provider before you just grab a bottle and start taking it.
And, you may find that if you increase the amount of Vitamin K rich foods (listed above), you may not need to supplement at all.
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